Red Sox lefty Sale has COVID-19, scratched from Sunday start

Sep 10, 2021, 4:29 AM | Updated: 10:59 pm

CHICAGO (AP) — Boston ace Chris Sale has tested positive for COVID-19 again, sidelining the left-hander while the Red Sox fight for positioning in the crowded AL playoff picture.

Sale had been scheduled to start Sunday in Chicago against the AL Central-leading White Sox. The seven-time All-Star also had a mild bout with COVID-19 in January that required him to quarantine for two weeks.

“At this point, nothing shocks me, to be honest with you,” manager Alex Cora said before Friday night’s 4-3 loss to the White Sox in the series opener. “On a daily basis we just go through a process and we just hope for good news. This is where we’re at.”

The Red Sox have placed 17 players on the COVID-19-related injury list since Aug. 3, including infielders Xander Bogaerts and Christian Arroyo and pitchers Nick Pivetta, Matt Barnes and Martín Pérez.

Bogaerts was reinstated Friday and returned to the starting lineup against the White Sox. But designated hitter J.D. Martinez was scratched because of back spasms.

It was Bogaerts’ first game since he was pulled from an 8-5 loss at Tampa Bay on Aug. 31 after the Red Sox found out he had tested positive. The three-time All-Star had to stay behind in Florida after the team departed.

Bogaerts said he felt fine the whole time.

“It was boring, man,” he said. “I wouldn’t want that for anyone. At least if you’re in Boston you’re at home.”

Left-hander Darwinzon Hernandez was activated from the 10-day injured list after being sidelined by a right oblique strain, and right-hander Kaleb Ort was promoted from Triple-A Worcester. Hernandez pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings in the loss to the White Sox.

The Red Sox also placed infielder Jonathan Araúz on the COVID-19 list, and lefty Austin Davis went on paternity leave. The move with Araúz is precautionary; he has some symptoms, but he has tested negative multiple times, according to the team.

The 32-year-old Sale missed all of last season recovering from Tommy John surgery. Since returning Aug. 14, he is 3-0 with a 2.52 ERA.

“It’s unfortunate, but he’ll be back,” Cora said. “He feels good. He actually feels great, and hopefully he can come back right away, right after his X amount of days.”

Sale likely will have to stay away from the team for at least 10 days, though Major League Baseball has made exceptions for individuals cleared by its medical experts, based on not being infectious.

Any prolonged absence for the lefty would be a big blow for the Red Sox, who have a one-game lead over the New York Yankees for the AL’s top wild-card spot.

“This is our reality and we’ve got to keep going,” Cora said.

Cora said Pivetta is feeling good, and he is one option when it comes to replacing Sale on Sunday. Right-hander Connor Seabold is on the team’s taxi squad for the road trip, and Cora said there’s a good chance he will start Saturday in his big league debut.

Pérez was in Worcester on Friday, and Cora said the plan was for him to throw a bullpen session and then pitch in a game on Sunday.

While Boston has made frequent use of the COVID-19 IL, but it looked as if it was turning a corner before Sale’s positive test. Left-hander Josh Taylor was reinstated on Monday, and position players Kiké Hernández and Danny Santana returned to the active roster on Tuesday.

___

More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

NASCAR Cup Series driver Joey Logano (22) speaks to reporters ahead of practice sessions before a N...
Associated Press

New-look Logano leads NASCAR back to the L.A. Coliseum

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Joey Logano arrived at the first event of the season with a jet black shock of thick hair and a banner in the grandstands advertising the company that treated NASCAR’s reigning champion for alopecia and early baldness. “Ask Joey!” the company Hairclub urged on a banner draped in the lower bowl […]
17 hours ago
Keith Mitchell prepares to hit a drive on the 7th tee of the Pebble Beach Golf Links during the thi...
Associated Press

Strong wind suspends third round at Pebble Beach

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. (AP) — A strong wind was more than just a menace at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. It brought the tournament to a halt Saturday because of two holes on one of the courses, and set up a Monday finish without the amateurs. Keith Mitchell made it through the worst stretch of […]
17 hours ago
Indiana's Trayce Jackson-Davis, left, reacts with Miller Kopp (12) after Jackson-Davis hit a basket...
Associated Press

Jackson-Davis, No. 21 Indiana beat Edey, No. 1 Purdue 79-74

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) — Trayce Jackson-Davis scored 25 points and Jalen Hood-Schifino delivered the clinching basket on a dunk with 2 seconds left as No. 21 Indiana beat No. 1 Purdue 79-74 on Saturday. Zach Edey finished with 33 points and 18 rebounds for Purdue. The Hoosiers (16-7, 7-5 Big Ten) have won both of […]
17 hours ago
In a photo provided by Benoit Photo, Newgate and jockey Lanfranco Dettori, outside, hold off a stub...
Associated Press

Newgate wins Robert Lewis Stakes; Baffert runs 1-2-3-4

ARCADIA, Calif. (AP) — Newgate won the $200,000 Robert B. Lewis Stakes by a neck on Saturday, with Bob Baffert as the trainer of all four horses in the Kentucky Derby prep race at Santa Anita. Ridden by Frankie Dettori, Newgate ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:43.11 and paid $4 and $2.60 as the even-money […]
17 hours ago
This undated photo provided by Ryan Wilson shows Tyre Nichols, who had a passion for skateboarding ...
Associated Press

Tony Hawk to donate photo proceeds to Tyre Nichols fund

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Skateboard legend Tony Hawk says he will donate half of the proceeds of autographed photos of himself and BMX rider Rick Throne to the memorial fund for Tyre Nichols. “My proceeds from these will go to the Tyre Nichols Memorial Fund, which includes plans to build a public skatepark in his […]
17 hours ago
Shohei Ohtani, left, of Los Angeles Angels, and Japan's manager Hideki Kuriyama, right, pose togeth...
Associated Press

Ohtani set for WBC in Japan, but Angels future uncertain

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Although Shohei Ohtani’s long-term future with the Los Angeles Angels is decidedly uncertain as he heads into the final season under contract, the two-way superstar’s plans for the spring are all set. Ohtani will make one start on the Cactus League mound this month for the Angels before he heads to […]
2 days ago
Red Sox lefty Sale has COVID-19, scratched from Sunday start