Chris Sale won't be confused for Babe Ruth anytime soon, but he can swing a mean bat. He had the rare opportunity to hit on Thursday night when the Boston Red Sox were in Philadelphia for an interleague series with the Phillies. With the game behind played under National League rules, pitchers received plenty of opportunities to make a difference. In one swing, Sale did - just not a big enough difference in the eyes of the Phillies.

Sale mashes a double

When Sale came to the plate in the top of the eighth inning, the game was still in a scoreless draw. He was the first batter in the inning - with his pitches still working, Red Sox manager John Farrell decided not to lift him for a pinch-runner; it was the right decision. Just two pitches into his at-bat, the ace laced a double to left field. The famously forlorn pitcher couldn't help but crack a smile as he came to rest at the second base.

The hit was the first for Sale since coming over from the Chicago White Sox over the winter. He recorded two hits for Chicago during his career, but neither were extra-base hits, making Thursday's double the first of his career as well. The accomplishment was certainly something to be proud of, especially since it was the first hit by a Red Sox pitcher since Rick Porcello recorded one on April 25, 2016.

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The thrill of success was fleeting, however, as the next three hitters lined out, struck out, and fouled out to end the inning with nothing to show for it and one lonely runner left stranded at third base.

Red Sox still lose

Sale received credit for the complete game, but he also received a rare loss. In the bottom of the eighth inning, he surrendered an RBI double to a pinch hitter (in place of a pitcher, ironically) that put the Phillies up 1-0.

Sale finished out the inning, but the Red Sox were unable to put their first run on the board in the top of the ninth inning, ending the game and sinking their record to 37-29.

The game was partially marred by a series of fire alarms and strange happenings around Citizens Bank Park, although the distractions did not take Sale out of his game. He still managed to strikeout ten batters and surrendered just four hits and a run on the night.

The Red Sox offense simply wasn't around to help him through the top halves of innings, even when the pitcher tried to do the heavy lifting himself. Boston will start a road series with the MLB-leading Houston Astros on Friday night, where Drew Pomeranz will take the mound.

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