Red Sox ace Sale: 'I left my nuts out on that mound' in loss to Astros

Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Boston Red Sox left-hander Chris Sale had his best outing in a long time Wednesday, but it wasn't enough to stop the Houston Astros from taking a 3-2 lead in the American League Championship Series.

"I was good for five, then I sucked for one ... I left my nuts out on that mound tonight. That's for damn sure," Sale said following Houston's Game 5 victory, according to MassLive's Chris Cotillo.

The 32-year-old struck out seven over 5 1/3 innings and got out of some tough jams, looking like the pitcher of old who averaged 237 strikeouts per season from 2012-19 before undergoing Tommy John surgery in March 2020.

Although the outing was one of Sale's best since returning from surgery in mid-August, he didn't have an answer for Astros designated hitter Yordan Alvarez. The slugger recorded three hits, three RBIs, and a home run off Boston's ace, chasing him from the game in the sixth inning.

Houston scored six additional runs following Sale's exit in a 9-1 victory.

"He's Chris Sale. He's a lefty. He's made a living getting lefties out," Red Sox manager Alex Cora said about the possibility of using someone other than Sale against Alvarez in the sixth, according to the Providence Journal's Bill Koch. "You've got to tip your hat to the guy."

The Astros now have a chance to end Boston's season in Game 6 at Minute Maid Park on Friday.

Sale said he'll throw in both Games 6 and 7 if that's what it takes for the Red Sox to keep their season alive.

"I'll pitch tomorrow if I have to," he said, according to NBC Sports Boston. "I've got nothing else going on for the next six months. It's all hands on deck."

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Red Sox ace Sale: 'I left my nuts out on that mound' in loss to Astros
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