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Red Sox’ Chris Sale tests positive for COVID-19, will not pitch Sunday vs. White Sox

Chris Sale will not pitch on Sunday.
Chris Sale will not pitch on Sunday.Matthew J Lee/Globe staff/Matthew J Lee

CHICAGO — Chris Sale tested positive for COVID-19 and will miss his start on Sunday against the White Sox. The lefthander is expected to be out for 10 days.

Sale is the 10th Red Sox player to test positive since Aug. 27 as the team’s worrisome outbreak continues. It is possible righthander Nick Pivetta could come off the COVID-19 injured list to replace Sale.

Sale was not on the team’s flight here on Thursday, which should diminish the odds of his case sparking a further outbreak.

“It’s unfortunate but he’ll be back,” manager Alex Cora said Friday before the Red Sox played the White Sox. “He feels good. He said he feels great. Hopefully he can come back right away after his x-amount of days are done.”


Sale is 3-0 with a 2.52 earned run average in five starts since returning to the majors on Aug. 14 after a two-year absence following Tommy John surgery. The Sox are 4-1 in his starts.

The loss of Sale came with the Red Sox holding the top spot in the American League wild-card race, one game ahead of the Yankees and 1½ games ahead of the Blue Jays.

Sale had a mild case of COVID-19 in January that suspended his rehabilitation work. He lost his sense of taste and smell and had flu-like symptoms before recovering.

Righthander Connor Seabold, who is with the team in Chicago as a member of the taxi squad, was scratched from his last Triple A start and could pitch in the series. It would be his major league debut.

Pivetta last pitched on Aug. 30 but has been throwing on the side and could fill a spot. He is 2-4 with a 5.91 ERA in his last nine starts after being one of the team’s best pitchers in the first three months of the season.


“With Nick, he’s doing good,” Cora said. The hope is for him to join us at one point. Hopefully it will be here in Chicago. It’s not a sure thing. But hopefully that will be the reality. If everything goes well it would be Sunday.”

Peter Abraham can be reached at peter.abraham@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @PeteAbe.