BOSTON — Boston’s Chris Sale and New York’s Luis Severino are both hoping their strong first halves will carry over when the two meet Saturday as the Red Sox host the rival Yankees at Fenway Park. Both Sale and Severino earned All-Star nods for their respective clubs, with Sale getting the start for the American League. Severino did not pitch in the game.
Chris Sale of the Boston Red Sox delivers during the first inning of the 88th MLB All-Star Game at Marlins Park on July 11, 2017 in Miami, Florida (Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images).
A six-time All-Star, Sale (11-4, 2.75 ERA) allowed three hits and struck out two in two scoreless innings in his second consecutive start in the Midsummer Classic on Tuesday.
It was the first career All-Star selection for Severino (5-4, 3.54 ERA), who capped his first half with a 10-strikeout performance against the Milwaukee Brewers last Saturday after allowing a three-run homer to Domingo Santana in the first inning.
Severino said he would have pitched the 11th inning for the AL, but former Yankee Robinson Cano’s go-ahead home run in the 10th robbed him of that opportunity — and that’s OK by him.
“I wanted to win,” Severino said after the All-Star game. “Maybe (I’ll get to pitch) next time.”
After dropping 18 of 25 games entering the All-Star break, New York (45-42) let another game slip away Friday as Boston (51-39) won 5-4 on a ninth-inning walk-off walk with Andrew Benintendi at the plate against closer Aroldis Chapman.
“It’s a credit to our guys of not maybe losing focus inside some at-bats,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said after his team trailed 4-3 entering the ninth. “We battled, we fought back. Just a good finish.”
Sale has been accustomed to good finishes this season. His 178 strikeouts at the break led the majors and were the most by a major leaguer before the All-Star Game since Curt Schilling struck out 186 batters over 19 starts in 2002.
Like Schilling, Sale has also proven to be a difficult opponent for the Yankees. Sale is 4-2 with a 1.31 ERA in 11 career outings (eight starts) against the Bronx Bombers.
On April 27, Sale took a hard-luck loss after allowing three runs (two earned) on eight hits and no walks while striking out 10 in an eight-inning loss to the Yankees in Boston.
Sale is 6-1 with a 2.34 ERA at Fenway this season.
Severino’s career numbers against the Red Sox (1-3, 4.07 ERA) or at Fenway (1-1, 4.26 ERA) are not eye-popping, but he spun a gem in his only start against the Red Sox in Boston this year.
On April 26, Severino tossed seven scoreless, three-hit innings with two walks and six strikeouts in a 3-1 victory.
Dustin Pedroia is 3-for-7 with a home run and five RBIs lifetime against Severino, Mitch Moreland is 1-for-4 with two RBIs and Benintendi is 2-for-5 with an RBI.
Chase Headley is 6-for-17 (.353) with two solo shots and Matt Holliday is 2-for-3 with two RBIs versus Sale. Home Run Derby champion Aaron Judge is 0-for-2 with two strikeouts against him.