Red Sox's Chris Sale exits start early with left shoulder soreness

BOSTON -- Boston Red Sox pitcher Chris Sale will get an MRI after leaving Thursday's 8-2 win against the Cincinnati Reds early because of left shoulder soreness.

Sale departed after manager Alex Cora and a member of the training staff visited the mound twice in the fourth inning. He exited with two out after walking Nick Senzel, with Boston trailing 1-0.

Sale struck out six batters in 3⅔ innings, allowing five hits and a walk on 59 pitches.

Cora said after the game that Sale will get an MRI on Friday.

"Hoping for the best. Obviously, it didn't look great. Let's wait and see," said Cora, adding that it was a drop in velocity that prompted Boston to keep Sale on a shorter leash.

Sale threw two pitches between the first and second visit as Cora felt it was necessary to make a pitching change.

"I cannot be irresponsible," Cora said. "We know each other. Obviously, it's not easy with everything he has gone through, but I've got to take care of him."

The 34-year-old Sale has struggled to stay healthy during the majority of his time in Boston, undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2020. The last time he made it through an entire season without making a trip to the injured list was 2017.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.