Cora: Sale needs more time, will start Game 6

October 17th, 2018

HOUSTON -- Red Sox ace Chris Sale will pitch Game 6 of the American League Championship Series (if necessary) on Saturday night at Fenway Park instead of his originally scheduled turn in Game 5 at Minute Maid Park on Thursday.

will start Game 5 on three days' rest. The lefty threw 80 pitches and 4 2/3 innings while taking a no-decision in Game 2.

Sale is still feeling the affects of the stomach illness that hospitalized him on Sunday and Monday, and led to him still feeling weak on Wednesday, a day after he rejoined his teammates.

:: ALCS schedule and results ::

"Yeah, he's not going to throw a bullpen today, probably tomorrow [instead]," Red Sox manager Alex Cora said. "He feels weak. He actually lost weight, which is hard to believe. We talked about it, he said he needed an extra day -- obviously two. He'll pitch Game 6."

Sale at least was able to get his feet back under him a little bit on Wednesday, playing catch before the game.

"I don't think he's eating solids. He's been eating a lot of soups I guess," Cora said. "But just like, when you get sick and you're coming out of the flu or whatever stomach illness, but I think he's been feeling better as far as like, keeping the food in -- or the soup. I don't want to get into details."

Gear up for the ALCS

Moreland in play for Game 5

Though Mitch Moreland is getting healthier, Cora rode the hot hand at first base and started Steve Pearce against Astros righty Charlie Morton in Game 4. With left-handed hitters and also in the lineup, Cora wanted to save Moreland's bat as a pinch-hitting option. Moreland has reached base as a pinch-hitter in all three of his plate appearances in this series.

There's a chance Moreland will get the nod in Game 5 against Verlander, which would mark his first start since he sustained a right hamstring injury in Game 2 of the Division Series.

Nunez is 'OK'

was clearly less than 100 percent in Game 3, and Cora pulled him in the fourth inning thanks to a right ankle that has nagged him since the final game of the regular season.

Devers started Game 4, but likely would have anyway.

"Nunez is OK," Cora said. "He wasn't able to push off. He wasn't able to do that even before the play in New York. It's just that first step, it seems like it's always in between now. Yesterday, he's like, 'C'mon, give me a chance.' I said, 'Just be honest. This is not about heroes. We understand where you're at.'"

"As you guys know when he's not 100 percent there's a lot of wondering and thinking and he's not too confident, although he sprinted to first on that ground ball to third. But he's not starting today, and if they bring in [Tony] Sipp somewhere, he'll be there just like Ian [Kinsler]. But he could play. Raffy is swinging the bat well."