BOSTON — Rafael Devers doubled to break an eighth-inning tie and the Boston Red Sox overcame Chris Sale’s early exit because of shoulder soreness to beat the Cincinnati Reds 8-2 on Thursday night.
Sale departed after manager Alex Cora and a member of the training staff visited the mound twice in the fourth inning. Sale came out with two out after walking Nick Senzel, with Boston trailing 1-0.
Sale struck out five in 3 2/3 innings. The 34-year-old left-hander 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.
After the Reds tied it off Chris Martin (1-1) in the eighth, Devers doubled in Alex Verdugo after a leadoff walk in the bottom of the inning. Devers hit a deep drive to straight away center that nearly went out.
Boston added five more runs in the inning. Pinch-runner Ramiel Tapia scored after reliever Kevin Herget (1-2) was called for a balk, Kiki Hernandez singled in two runs and Connor Wong hit a two-run shot into the Green Monster seats.
Kenley Jansen finished off Cincinnati with a scoreless ninth.
Looking to complete a three-game sweep, the Reds opened the scoring in the third on Kevin Newman’s double. Boston tied it in the fourth when Justin Turner singled in Devers, who got a gift double when centerfielder Jose Barrero lost the ball in the lights.
Hernandez hit a solo home for the Red Sox in the seventh. The Reds tied it in the eighth on Matt McLain’s single past the drawn-in infield.
Reds starter Hunter Greene allowed a run in six innings. He struck out eight.
ARMED & READY
Verdugo was credited with his fourth assist of the season in the fourth inning with the Reds seeking to add to a 1-0 lead. After fielding a fly ball off the bat of Stuart Fairchild, Verdugo came up firing from right field and delivered a one-hop throw to Wong, who blocked the plate to prevent Spencer Steer from scoring. Replay concurred with the call on the field, which was a 9-2 double play.
Reds: Manager David Bell said that LHP Nick Lodolo (leg) will remain in a walking boot for the next two weeks. Bell has been on the injured list since May 14.
Red Sox: INF Christian Arroyo (hamstring strain) continued his rehab assignment with Triple-A Worcester on Thursday, going hitless in five at-bats.
Reds: LHP Brandon Williamson (0-0, 5.02) starts at home against Milwaukee in the opener of a four-game series Friday night.
Red Sox: AL East-leading Tampa Bay comes to Fenway with RHP Garrett Whitlock (2-2, 5.14) getting the nod in the series opener. Boston and Tampa will play four games in three days with a scheduled doubleheader on tap for Saturday.
___ AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports