Chris Sale gets just 8 outs but leaves with lead

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HOUSTON - It wasn’t exactly a masterpiece, but for the Red Sox, Chris Sale was good enough.

Still carrying the rust from his Tommy John surgery-induced layoff, Sale exited his Game 1 showdown with the Astros Friday night with the Red Sox carrying a one-run lead with two outs in the third inning. Reliever Adam Ottavino stranded to runners left behind by the Sox starter, getting Yuli Guerriel to ground out to second base to end the Houston threat.

Sale would allow one run - coming on a first-inning sacrifice fly by Yordan Alvarez - on five hits, striking out two, walking one while hitting a batter. He threw 61 pitches, 37 of them for strikes.

Sale was pretty much living life as a two-pitch pitcher, using his changeup four times. His best pitch by far was fastball that carried an average of 95.3 mph while maxing out at 97.5 mph.

The southpaw was weaving his way in and out of trouble for most of his outing, stranding six Astros baserunners, four of which were in scoring position.

Helping save Sale was a highlight reel catch from Kiké Hernandez to end the second inning off the bat of Michael Brantley, stranding a pair of runners.

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