Chris Sale looked strong through the first six innings of his outing for the Boston Red Sox on Wednesday night.
So strong, in fact, it appeared he wanted to return for the seventh.
Sale allowed two earned runs on six hits in the Red Sox’s much-needed 3-2 win over the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. The southpaw had thrown 95 pitches at the end of six, so it was a bit surprising to see him jog out of the Red Sox dugout toward the mound.
He quickly was stopped and Alex Cora called him back. Garrett Whitlock ended up relieving Sale and pitched two innings.
After the game, Cora was asked about whether it was miscommunication, Sale trying to push his outing or something else.
“That wasn’t the case. He didn’t (try to put himself back in the game),” Cora said over Zoom. “Whitlock wasn’t — he was short warming up, so we were gonna send him back just to give Whit time. It’s not that he was trying to do that.”
At the end of the day, the stalling worked for Whitlock as his two innings were scoreless and included a strikeout.