Boston Red Sox

BOSTON, MA - JULY 28: Chris Sale #41 pitches against the New York Yankees in the second inning at Fenway Park on July 28, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts.

On Thursday, Chris Sale faced hitters in a live game for the first time since August of 2019. The lefty made his first rehab start as he continues to work his way back from his Tommy John surgery in March 2020.

Pitching for the Florida Complex League Red Sox, Sale threw three scoreless innings, despite originally being scheduled to throw two. Overall, the outing lasted 23 pitches.

The 32-year-old allowed four hits while recording five strikeouts against the FCL Orioles. One of those hits came on a bloop single, and another on a bunt. He also worked his way out of a jam with runners on first and third with one out by striking out back-to-back hitters.

When Sale left the game after the third inning, the Red Sox were beating the Orioles 5-0.

According to Ian Cundall of SoxProspects.com, Sale threw his fastball 93 MPH, with a mid-80’s changeup. He waited until the second inning to throw his devastating slider, which clocked in in the high 70’s and he used to record a strikeout.

Sale’s next step is still unclear, and will likely depend on how he feels after Thursday’s start. The team has said they would prefer him to make the bulk of his rehab appearances geographically closer to Boston, either with Double-AA Portland or Triple-AAA Worcester. However, another outing in the FCL wouldn’t be unrealistic.

MORE: Who will the Red Sox target at the trade deadline?

Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at abarth@985TheSportsHub.com.