Kevork Djansezian/Getty ImagesBoston Red Sox ace Chris Sale struck out the side in the bottom of the ninth to secure a 5-1 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Sox's ninth World Series title.Sale threw a nasty slider down and in to Dodgers shortstop Manny Machado for the final strike.BYU鈥檚 Cosmo the Cougar Is the Next Superstar MascotJoshua Johnson Is HS Footballs Quadruple ThreatThe Champions x Queer EyeHappy 26th Birthday to OBJ 馃帀Happy Anniversary to the Cubs Curse-BreakingD-Rose Turned Back the Clock and Put Up 50Will Drake鈥檚 Favorite Teams Reverse the 6 God Curse?Sports Worlds Halloween Costumes Went HardUp Your Halloween Game with Giant Pumpkin RegattaThe Champions: Episode 6 Is ComingDubs Trolled Fergie So Hard It Became a ChallengePurdue Footballs No. 1 Fan Is Inspiring the TeamOne Road to MLB Starts with a Bottle Cap and BroomstickIts Been a Wild Month with Flyers鈥?Mascot Gritty馃専The Champions: Episode 5 馃専CP3-Rondo Blowup Was a Long Time ComingMahomes Is Showtime Off the Field TooCFBs Creative Entrances Put WWE to ShameWorld Pole Climbing Championships Are Something ElseNBA Let Players Know They Have to Cover Branded TattoosRight Arrow IconMany expected Sale to start Game 5 since he had rested his usual four days since his last appearance. Instead Adam Ottavino Jersey
, Red Sox manager Alex Cora turned to David Price, who held the Dodgers to one run in seven innings.Entering the playoffs, Boston fans likely would've expected the worst if told Sale would post a 4.11 ERA in 15.1 innings over five appearances. Health reasons prevented Sale from being his usual self outside of his two relief outings.But Cora used him to great effect in pivotal moments, highlighting both Sale's flexibility and the manager's ability to think outside of the box in October. In a pitching matchup that is common in many major league games in September, two relief pitchers will start Thursday night as the Cleveland Indians and Kansas City Royals play the opener of a regular season-ending four-game series at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City.Cleveland’s Josh Tomlin (2-5, 6.44 ERA) will face Kansas City’s Glenn Sparkman (0-3, 4.86). The two American League Central Division teams are a study in extremes. The Indians (89-69) have won the division for the third consecutive year while the Royals (56-102) are in last place.Tomlin, 33 http://www.rockiesfanproshop.com/authentic-pat-valaika-jersey
, made six early-season starts before being moved to the bullpen. In 23 relief appearances, he is 2-2 with a 4.55 ERA. In eight starts, he is 0-3, 7.82.Article continues below ...Tomlin’s last appearance was a relief stint against Boston on Sunday in which he pitched two scoreless innings, allowing one hit and picking up the win in a 4-3 Cleveland victory.His last start came Sept. 20, against the White Sox when he got a no-decision in a 5-4 Indians loss. In that game, Tomlin pitched four innings, allowing four runs and eight hits Daniel Castro Jersey
, with two strikeouts and no walks.Tomlin’s only appearance against the Royals this year was as a reliever Aug. 25, when he pitched one inning, giving up one run and three hits, with no strikeouts and no walks.The last time Tomlin started a game against the Royals was Sept. 14, 2017, when he got a no-decision in a 3-2 Indians win. In that game he pitched 5 2/3 innings, allowing two runs and six hits, with four strikeouts and one walk.In 26 career appearances (21 starts) against Kansas City ttp://www.rockiesfanproshop.com/authentic-tony-wolters-jersey
, Tomlin is 10-5 with a 3.93 ERA.Sparkman is at the other end of the career spectrum from Tomlin, who during his nine-year career has appeared in 182 major league games. The 26-year-old Sparkman has appeared in 16 major league games, mostly as a reliever.In 12 relief appearances for the Royals this year he is 0-2 with a 4.62 ERA. He has made two starts and is 0-1, 5.63. His last appearance came as a reliever in an 11-8 Royals’ loss to Detroit in which he received no decision. He pitched four innings, allowing two runs and five hits.Sparkman’s last start was a 4-1 loss to Tampa Bay on Aug. 21. He pitched four innings, giving up three runs and seven hits, with five strikeouts and three walks. Thursday will be his first career appearance against Cleveland.A big challenge for Sparkman will be Cleveland designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion, who after hitting 38 home runs with 107 RBIs last year in his first season with Cleveland Kyle Freeland Jersey
, has hit 32 homers with 105 RBIs this year. Encarnacion has driven in at least 100 runs in six of the last seven years, including the last four years in a row.“As long as he stays healthy, you can pencil him in for 100 every year,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “That’s nice to know, at the start of the season, that you’re going get 100 RBIs out of him.”Cleveland leads the season series 10-5.