The team later announced that Sale suffered a fractured left little finger.
Sale was only in his second game after missing most of the first half of the season with a fractured right rib cage. Sale has missed the entire 2020 season and has only made nine starts in 2021 after undergoing Tommy John surgery.
“It’s almost a harder hit than the others, because it’s unexpected,” Sale said afterwards at the visitors’ club at Yankee Stadium.
The sale will see a hand specialist on Sunday night or Monday in Boston. He expressed cautious optimism that he will pitch again this season, even throwing in a possible delay.
“Four to six weeks is when [I hope] to get active again, moving a bit,” Sale said. “I’m going to see the hand specialist and I’ll just take what he says.”
Sale said he immediately knew his left little finger was broken after looking at it.
“I hit the ground, I see my finger under my ring finger and I say ‘Here’s more time,'” he said. “It was the first thing that crossed my mind.”
When Sale was escorted off the pitch by the manager Alex Cora and team medical staff, the Sox trailed 3-0. The sale was replaced by a reliever Hirokazu Sawamurawho allowed one hit and one walk in a scoreless inning and was the first of eight relievers the Sox rolled out of the bullpen to replenish the remaining 7⅓ innings.
Sale returned to the dugout with his finger in a splint and wrap around it, and he watched the game with his teammates.
A bright spot
Throw Downs provided the only bright spot in what turned out to be a dark day for the Red Sox when he earned his first career home run against the Yankees ace Gerrit Cole at the start of the third round. Downs went 2-for-3 and his 2-RBI home run helped the Sox draw within 3-2.
“It’s a blessing,” Downs said. “I really wish it had happened on a better day, but everything happens for a reason.”
As he approached, Downs added, “I was just trying to be on time. I’ve been a little late these past few days. I was just trying to be on time and get a good pitch to hit. I had a good one and put a pretty decent swing on it and it speaks for itself.
The team gave Downs the silent treatment ahead of the club’s signature cart ride after a home run.
Downs doubled Cole in the sixth, collecting two of the Sox’s four hits against the Yankees ace.
“He’s gathered some good drummers only in the last few days,” Cora said. “It is still in development. And today he controlled the strike zone and had good swings and hit the ball out of the stadium. It was good for him. »
Work in progress
left-handed pitcher rich hill (sprained left knee) threw a bullpen on Saturday. right-handed Michael Wacha (right shoulder inflammation) threw a bullpen on Sunday. Cora said both pitchers are moving in the right direction, but won’t pitch the first time in the rotation after the All-Star Break. . . Francy Cordero struck out three Sunday, giving him 28 strikeouts in his last 53 plate appearances in July. . . Nate Eovaldi will draw the first starting assignment of the break for the Red Sox against the Toronto Blue Jays on July 22 at Fenway Park.