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All eyes on Sale for Red Sox debut

Lefty ace will make his first start for Boston on Monday
MLB.com @IanMBrowne

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The day Chris Sale has envisioned for three months finally happens on Monday.

That is when the lanky left-hander will pitch his first game for the Red Sox, a Grapefruit League contest in West Palm Beach against the Astros that can be heard on MLB Gameday Audio at 1:05 p.m. ET.

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The day Chris Sale has envisioned for three months finally happens on Monday.

That is when the lanky left-hander will pitch his first game for the Red Sox, a Grapefruit League contest in West Palm Beach against the Astros that can be heard on MLB Gameday Audio at 1:05 p.m. ET.

"I think I was ready on Dec. 7. I've been preparing for this," said Sale. "Very exciting. Now we're getting more into playing real baseball and not throwing off a side mound in simulation or anything like that. I'm excited, it'll be fun and I'm throwing against Houston so we'll go see the new ballpark. It'll be nice."

Sale, a five-time American League All-Star with the White Sox, came to the Red Sox in a blockbuster deal back in December, getting traded for two prized prospects in Yoan Moncada and Michael Kopech.

Video: Sale discusses simulated spring start

"Just being around him, the work that he's put in, he's probably thinking, 'Darn, I've been here a month and still yet to get on the mound.' That's all by design," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "But I know tomorrow has been growing with some anticipation for him. I know he's been looking forward to tomorrow for probably the last two or three weeks."

 The addition of Sale gives the Red Sox another star at the top of the rotation to go along with reigning American League Cy Young Award winner Rick Porcello and left-hander David Price.

With the possibility -- if not the likelihood -- looming that Price will open the season on the disabled list with a left forearm injury, there should be even more focus on Sale.

Though Monday isn't as big of a game as the ones Sale will pitch starting in April, don't expect any less intensity from him.

"It'll be all business as we've seen his other work sessions become," said Farrell. "He takes on an attitude of a competitor when he walks to the mound. We would expect that to be the case tomorrow."

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.

Boston Red Sox, Chris Sale