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Red Sox 3, White Sox 0: Rick Porcello beats Chris Sale (actually)

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Rick Porcello went toe-to-toe with Chris Sale Wednesday night, and left with a win.

Jon Durr/Getty Images

Well, that's a headline.

In a game started by Rick Porcello and Chris Sale, Rick Porcello was the one coming away with the win. This is a thing that happened.

And what's more, it didn't happen just because the Red Sox do that thing where they beat up on a very good pitcher. In fact, saying that Porcello beat Sale is kind of misleading, because he didn't really outpitch him, he just happened to be the away pitcher, which means that when the game went to the bullpens in the eighth, the Red Sox hit before Robbie Ross pitched, allowing Porcello to nab the W.

But if Porcello didn't outpitch Sale, he stayed in lockstep with one of the best pitchers in the game despite said pitcher having one of his best nights of the year. Porcello's first inning back from a month-long layoff was about as encouraging as one could hope for, with a 10-pitch at bat from Melky Cabrera the only thing that kept it from being both quick and painless. The second inning went much the same, starting with a three-pitch strikeout of Avisail Garcia, and after an easy third, Porcello had seen and retired all nine men the White Sox had to throw at him.

The no-hitter was not on for Chris Sale, but he was getting by, surviving a bases loaded situation in the third by striking out Hanley Ramirez to end the frame, and picking off Rusney Castillo in the fourth to avoid what might have been a big inning. From there, the scripts would flip, with Sale making quick work of the Red Sox while Porcello dealt with increasingly trickier situations in the fourth, fifth, and sixth innings. He would never break, however, and finished on a high note with a 1-2-3 seventh to finish the night with seven scoreless innings on five hits and five strikeouts. Nothing more.

Sale would finally leave the game along with Porcello in the eighth, and that let the Red Sox finally break through. With two outs and Xander Bogaerts on via a base hit, Travis Shaw jumped on the first pitch he saw, a 97 MPH fastball from Nate Jones, and sent it flying to right, well into the stands to put the Red Sox up 2-0 with one huge swing.

That still left two bullpen innings for Boston, but for once, there wasn't too much stress involved. Robbie Ross gave the Red Sox a clean eighth, and a leadoff walk from Blake Swihart led to an insurance run in the ninth, keeping the tying run from reaching the plate even after Junichi Tazawa allowed a single to Alexei Ramirez to start the bottom of the inning. Ramirez only ever advanced to second on defensive indifference as Tazawa retired the next three to make Rick Porcello a deserving winner in his return to action.