Red Sox

Chris Sale makes second Portland rehab start, will pitch in Worcester on Saturday

"It’s good to have that before I get back to the big leagues."

Chris Sale
Red Sox pitcher Chris Sale looked less than pleased as he left the game during the 4th inning at Hadlock Field Sunday. Fred J. Field for the Boston Globe

For the first time since he began pitching in Minor League rehab starts, Red Sox ace Chris Sale labored a bit on Sunday.

Sale pitched 3.2 innings and struck out nine batters in his second appearance with Double-A Portland, but he gave up six hits including a homer and a double, as well as two earned runs. The Sea Dogs eventually defeated the Harrisburg Senators 6-5.

Sale admitted he wasn’t thrilled with his outing, but he said laboring a bit can have some benefits in a rehab appearance.

“Obviously no pitcher wants to give up home runs, hits, and stuff like that, but it’s good to have that before I get back to the big leagues,” Sale said per The Boston Globe. “Having to pitch out of stuff … That’s the time when your back’s against the wall and you have to make some pitches.”

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After the Red Sox’s dramatic victory over the Yankees, Alex Cora said Sale felt good and called it “a good day of work.” Cora praised Sale for working his way out of a jam and added that Sale’s next rehab start will take place on Saturday in Worcester.

“So a packed house down there,” Cora said with a smile.

After Sunday’s game, Sale gave his new Portland teammates a shoutout (in addition to a pizza spread, according to the Globe).

“They’ve made me feel welcome, and I appreciate that,” Sale said. “I’ve been talking a lot with these guys, bouncing ideas off pitching stuff.”

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Sale — who pitched 3.2 hitless, scoreless innings on Tuesday — made a positive impression on his Portland teammates as well.

“He tried again to compete on the mound,” Sea Dogs catcher Ronaldo Hernández said. “He’s a very, very good guy too and tries working together with everyone.”

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