Sale became the first pitcher at the current mound distance (since 1893) to throw five or fewer innings and allow one or fewer hits and strike out at least 12 batters, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. He was replaced by Tyler Thornburg to start the sixth inning, and the Red Sox went on to win 4-1.
Red Sox manager Alex Cora said Saturday that the All-Star left-hander could throw 100 pitches against Baltimore if he was not rusty in his return from left shoulder inflammation. Sale left Sunday’s game after 68 pitches.
To make room for Sale on the roster, the Red Sox optioned right-hander Brandon Workman to Triple-A Pawtucket.
Sale, 29, entered Sunday with an 11-4 record and an American League-best 2.04 ERA. He was tied for third in the majors with 207 strikeouts.