BOSTON — When Chris Sale walks out to the mound, he looks like he’s on stilts, his 6-foot-6, 178-pound body seemingly all legs.

Then Sale goes into his funky delivery, looking like he will stumble off the mound.

“You get the impression there are arms and legs coming at you at every different angle,” Manager John Farrell said. “His delivery does not give hitters a real comfortable feel when they’re in the batter’s box.”

Farrell was eager Wednesday night to watch his newest – and best? – pitcher make his debut for the Boston Red Sox against the Pittsburgh Pirates, eventually a 3-0, 12-inning win for the Red Sox.

“We all have anticipated,” Farrell said, “from the time he was traded (for) in the winter meetings.”

On that Dec. 6 day, Boston sent four prospects, including $63 million man Yoan Moncada and 100 mph fastball-thrower Michael Kopech, to land Sale from the Chicago White Sox and bring immediate hope for Boston’s next World Series appearance.

Sale has never pitched in the playoffs. He also has never won a Cy Young Award, although he’s been in the top six in the voting the past five years.

He entered Wednesday’s game with a career 3.00 ERA, 1,244 strikeouts and 260 walks. Pretty good strikeout/walk ratio of 4.78 – actually the best ratio in the live ball era (after 1920).

Sale improved that ratio Wednesday, striking out seven and walking one. He gave up three hits over seven innings. And if not for Jameson Taillon matching him with seven scoreless innings, Sale would have had his first Red Sox win.

Instead it was Joe Kelly who got the win, courtesy of Sandy Leon’s three-run homer in the 12th inning for a 3-0 victory.

On a raw, damp 40-degree night, Sale established a fastball that hit 98 mph, mixing in sliders and change-ups.

The Red Sox have seen that before – against them.

“It went bad most of the time. I’m glad he’s on our team now, that’s for sure,” said center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr.

In 11 at-bats against Sale, Bradley had one single and six strikeouts.

“He’s tall,” Bradley said. “A very unusual delivery. He throws really hard. Great off-speed pitches. And he’s not afraid to pitch inside.”

Bradley figured there would be a buzz at Fenway.

“Everyone comes to watch guys like him on the mound,” Bradley said.

Wednesday’s crowd cheered every strike. Sale retired the first four batters and 13 of the first 15 he faced. He would start batters with a 97 mph four-seamer, or a two-seamer at 92, or a change-up (87) or his biting slider (79).

And when he mixed them … the term is nasty. In the third, with a runner on first and two outs, right-hander Starling Marte came up. Marte swung and missed a first-pitch change-up. He fouled off another change-up. Sale then came with a slider that had Marte flailing for strike three.

“A deceptive change-up, a good breaking ball,” Farrell said. “He’s got a lot of things going for him, in addition to an attitude he exudes on the mound of a very competitive guy.

“The total package is what enables him to be successful.”

Sale should make the Red Sox successful – provided they score some runs for him.

Wednesday night provided relief as the Red Sox anxiously await the fate of David Price. The team keeps speaking optimistically of Price’s rehab from a sore elbow, but he’s yet to pitch off the mound during this rehab. Besides long toss on Wednesday, Price stepped on the mound just to get a feel for it. He threw the ball but didn’t pitch to a crouching catcher.

Who knows what the Red Sox will get with Price? They do know they have another lefty they can rely on in Sale.

The White Sox got a good haul of prospects in this deal, but Moncada is in Triple-A, and Kopech is still in Class A.

Sale is in Fenway. Everyone comes to watch guys like him.

Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or:’

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Twitter: @ClearTheBases