No surprise, Farrell says Sale will start ALDS Game 1


BOSTON - In a surprise to no one, Red Sox manager John Farrell announced that Chris Sale will be the Game 1 starter when the Sox open the ALDS Thursday in Houston.

It'll be the first career postseason start for Sale, the left-hander acquired from the White Sox in the offseason who helped pitch the Sox to the A.L. East title and put himself in Cy Young Award conversation by going 17-8 with a 2.90 ERA and 308 strikeouts, five shy of Pedro Martinez's franchise record.

Right-hander Justin Verlander (15-8, 3.36), the Astros' late-season acquisition from the Detroit Tigers, is Houston's likely Game 1 starter. Verlander has started 16 career games in the postseason (7-5, 3.39 ERA), including Game 1 of the 2006 and '12 World Series.

Farrell is undecided on the rest of his rotation. Left-hander Drew Pomeranz (17-6, 3.32) has been talked about as the Game 2 starter with lefty Eduardo Rodriguez and right-handers Rick Porcello and Doug Fister in the starting mix as well. 

Sale is 0-0 with a 2.70 ERA in 12 career starts on three days' rest. 

The rest of the best-of-five series schedule, with times to be determined:

Game 2, Friday, at Houston
Games 3, Sunday, Oct. 8, at Fenway Park
Game 4 (if necessary), Mon., Oct. 9, at Fenway
Game 5 (if necessary), Wed, Oct. 11, at Houston



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