Fans cheers as Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Chris Sale leaves the baseball game against the New York Yankees during the sixth inning of Game 1 of an American League Division Series on Friday, Oct. 5, 2018, in Boston. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

Sale strong, 'pen shaky as Red Sox beat Yankees 5-4 in ALDS

October 05, 2018 - 11:20 pm

BOSTON (AP) — Chris Sale struck out eight for his first career postseason win, J.D. Martinez hit a three-run homer and the Boston Red Sox sweated out their shaky bullpen to beat the New York Yankees 5-4 on Friday night in Game 1 of the AL Division Series.

One year after he was pounded by Houston in his playoff debut, Sale took a four-hit shutout into the sixth inning. The Yankees loaded the bases in the sixth and again in the seventh, cutting the deficit to 5-3. Aaron Judge homered off Craig Kimbrel to lead off the ninth before the Red Sox closer retired the next three batters, striking out Giancarlo Stanton and Luke Voit for the save.

Game 2 is Saturday night, with Boston starting another pitcher trying to overcome a history of postseason struggles: left-hander David Price is 0-8 in his career as a starter in the playoffs. He'll face Yankees righty Masahiro Tanaka.

In the first playoff matchup between the longtime rivals since 2004, the 108-win Red Sox took a 5-0 lead against Yankees starter J.A. Happ and then white-knuckled it after Sale left with two on and one out in the sixth.

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