Chris Sale was dominant in his Grapefruit League debut on Saturday, tossing four shutout innings in the Red Sox 6-1 victory over the Atlanta Braves.

Sale allowed just two hits and no walks while striking out seven.

“I’m not worried about the strikeouts or the hits or anything else. It’s the work that we got in and the efficiency, said Sale, who threw 49 pitches, 34 for strikes. "That’s a big part of pitching: throwing strikes and getting ahead of hitters, and that’s where we were at.”

The lefty's fastball topped out at 92 mph by design. He said his approach this spring is different than it was two years ago, when he was throwing in the mid- to high-90s in his first spring training with the Red Sox.

“I think two years ago when I first came in here that was probably the hardest I’ve ever thrown in spring training,” Sale said. “I had something to prove. We’re trying to lengthen this out and get our work in, but not jump too far, too quick.”

While Sale was sparkling in his return, the Red Sox offense was shining as well on Saturday. Mookie Betts hit his first homer of the spring, a deep fly ball over the wall in left field, and Xander Bogaerts, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Eduardo Nunez all had RBI doubles.

Next up for the Red Sox, a pair of split-squad matchups against the Pirates and Rays on Sunday. David Price will get the start against Tampa Bay at JetBlue Park, while Marcus Walden will get the ball against Pittsburgh in Bradenton.

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