Boston Red Sox star Chris Sale joined a rare club on Thursday night.
Sale became the second pitcher to record a third immaculate inning in their career. The other being Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax. An immaculate inning is when a pitcher strikes out the first three batters on only nine pitches. Sale did that against the Minnesota Twins on Thursday night.
“Today was probably the best my mechanics have been start-to-finish. I really felt like I was staying on top of the baseball. I really kind of found it out in the bullpen before the game,” he said after the game.
“I don’t remember if I’ve been part of an immaculate inning,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli told reporters after the game, via MLB.com. “[Major League coach Bill Evers] looked right at me, next to me on the bench, and said, ‘That was nine pitches, nine strikes.’ I was not locked in on that fact. I was thinking about looking at other things.”
Sale returned to the Red Sox earlier this month after missing the entire 2020 season and most of the 2021 season recovering from Tommy John surgery.
Boston manager Alex Cora was encouraged by Sale’s performance. He finished with eight strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings during Boston’s 12-2 win.
“He was good, he showed us that he has something in the tank,” Cora said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.