Boston Red Sox’s Chris Sale Punches Out 9 Through 3 2/3 in Third Rehab Start With Double-A Portland

PORTLAND — Chris Sale, while not as sturdy as his previous rehab start, was solid again with the Portland Sea Dogs as the lefty hurled 3 2/3 innings.

The Senators, the team he faced on Tuesday, stranded a runner on second in the first after allowing a double, before Sale struck out the side in the second inning.

Sale, who was supposed to go at least four innings, and possibly five, had his day cut short of that mark after running into some trouble in the third.

The Senators’ No. 9 hitter Osvaldo Duarte blasted a leadoff solo homer off the lanky left-hander, before he would allow a double and a bunt single. From there, he fanned the next two batters he faced, but plunked the next batter to load the bases.

Sale would get out of it though, as he struck out Jackson Cluff on a slider, as Cluff’s swing and miss looked similar to Manny Machado’s series-ending swing and miss in the World Series of 2018.

A two-out double would mark the end of Sale’s day, as in relief of the lefty, Dominic LaBrutto, would let the runner Sale inherited score on an RBI single to put the veteran’s stat line at two earned runs given up.

With that, Sale is set to make his fourth rehab start with Triple-A Worcester on the 31st of July. It could potentially be his last start before getting called up, as the 6-foot-6 32-year-old is getting closer and closer to returning to the Red Sox.

(Photo of Chris Sale/Matthew J. Lee/Boston Globe Via Getty Images)

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