James Paxton made his long-awaited Red Sox debut this season, and he got valuable advice from a fellow southpaw in the clubhouse.

The 34-year-old debuted for Boston on May 12, which was over 700 days since his last start. Paxton was issued a no-decision, but his nine strikeouts showed he still was decisive on the mound.

The left-hander has a 3.09 ERA in 32 innings pitched this season with 44 strikeouts and 10 walks. Paxton and Sale each suffered their share of injuries throughout their careers, and that connection helped the pair form a bond in Boston.

“We just kind of talked about how hard it is,” Paxton told NESN’s Tom Caron on the “TC & Company Podcast” released Thursday. “We’re both guys that work very hard. We had Tommy John surgeries and different setbacks. But just working through it, keeping on going, putting one foot in front of the other, encouraging each other. And I was talking to him about what it’s like to be back on the mound again, having so much time off.

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“He just told me, ‘Make sure you breathe,’ because you get out there, it’s been a while. My first time out, I think I might have said it felt like debut all over again. Stopping to take a breath, even with the clock, was definitely needed, so that was a big help.”

Paxton wished Sale the best in his recovery from his latest injury. He also expressed confidence in the Red Sox heading into their weekend series against the New York Yankees.

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