BOSTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 11: Chris Sale #41 of the Boston Red Sox pitches against the Toronto Blue Jays during the first inning at Fenway Park on September 11, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts.(Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

< Go to Homepage

Red Sox Clinch Playoff Spot As Ace Chris Sale Returns to Mound

Brock Holt helped Boston clinch with a three-run homer that put the Sox ahead for good.

On Tuesday night in Boston, the Red Sox got back their All-Star ace and went on to win to win to clinch a playoff spot – even though he only pitched for one inning.

Unbelievably, that was actually the plan for Chris Sale as the Red Sox wanted to get the lanky left back on the mound for an abbreviated throwing session in his return from shoulder issues.

Sale was the story of the night but Brock Holt was the star as the journeyman infielder was called upon to pinch hit by first-year manager Alex Cora in the seventh inning.

Holt delivered with a three-run homer that put the Sox ahead for good and propelled the team to a 7-2 win over the Toronto Blue Jays and a guaranteed spot in the playoffs as a wild card.

However, odds are the Sox will finish first and not need a wild-card berth as they now are a major league-best 99-46 and lead the AL East by nine games with 2.5 weeks left.

“We’re in great position to win the division and then to accomplish other things,” Cora said after the game. “As I told the group, I’m very proud of them.”

Sale struck out two and threw 26 pitches before leaving the game to go throw in the bullpen.

“This is the first step in the right direction,” he said. “There was a lot of work by a lot of people that went into this.”

Read the full story at The Associated Press