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Sale begins Red Sox career in West Palm Beach

Anything short of a World Series is a lost season for the Boston Red Sox - so this offseason they made a huge splash, sending a boatload of prospects to the White Sox for one of the best pitchers in baseball.

Monday he made his debut with a 'B' on his hat, in West Palm Beach.

"I've been waiting for this for awhile," said starting pitcher Chris Sale, moments after he left the field after his first spring training appearance as a member of the Red Sox.

Red Sox fans have been waiting too, and they watched at the Ballpark of the Palm Beaches against the Astros, their beloved big acquisition, toe the rubber for the first time.

"The fans talk about World Series this, World Series that. You can't help be energized by that."

Even though the pressure is on Sale, the Lakeland native and Florida Gulf Coast product admits it did not take long for him to get comfortable in Boston.

"You see the passion the players have for the organization, and likewise back to us - players and staff made me feel right at home."

Sale gave up two runs in two innings, striking out two with four hits. But Sale was dealing - he hit 97 miles per hour with his fastball, and said it was a little uncommon for him to reach that speed this early in spring.

"I haven't been like this in years past. But I came ready for this one."

And Sox fans are ready to see Sale is worth every penny.

The Astros and Red Sox tied 5-5. Boston stays on the East Coast the next two days, with games against the Nationals in West Palm Beach and Mets in Port St. Lucie.

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