Boston Red Sox

For the second time in less than a month, Red Sox ace Chris Sale has made his way to the disabled list. It’s with the same left shoulder inflammation as the first time around — with a five-inning, 12-strikeout performance sandwiched between disabled list stints — but with Sale saying that this pain is not as bad as the pain that shelved him on July 31.

“When I started throwing again, it kind of didn’t respond the way we wanted it,” Sale, who admitted he would be pitching if the Red Sox were in a tight race, offered when talking about the ailment. “Didn’t really bounce back like we wanted it to.

“We want to be able to sprint across the finish line and not limp into it. Given where we are, it’s the right call to give it some rest. Obviously terrible timing, not exactly the most ideal situation. To be honest, quite miserable for me.”

The ‘misery’ factor comes from the fact that Sale has been downright unbeatable this season, with a 12-4 record and 1.97 ERA to go with his 219 strikeouts in 146 innings. Sale is also in the midst of the most dominating stretch of his professional career, with 109 strikeouts and just five runs surrendered on 34 hits over his last 71 innings.

“But, at the same time, I’m not going to sit around and pout,” Sale said. “I’m going to keep my chin up. I’m on the best team that ever walked the planet. I’ve got good teammates that have my back and I appreciate that.”

Red Sox manager Alex Cora, meanwhile, knows Sale’s health is of the utmost importance if his team is going to make a legitimate World Series run this fall. Meaning he’s more than willing to give him all the rest he needs before October.

“We have to take care of [Sale],” Cora acknowledged. “This guy is very important for what we’re trying to accomplish, and if he needs to skip one, two, three, whatever, we’re willing to do that. He’ll be back. Like he said, he feels better than the last time we put him on the DL. So, he’ll get his rest, go through treatment, and we’ll go from there.”

The Red Sox enter Sunday with a 10.5 game lead on the New York Yankees for first place in the American League East.