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Patience will be key in Chris Sale’s return to rotation

Red Sox pitcher Chris Sale, who went on the 10-day disabled list July 31 with mild shoulder inflammation, will likely miss a second start after the team left him off the starting rotation for the upcoming series in Toronto, beginning Tuesday.Jim Davis/Globe Staff/File

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Chris Sale said last week he expected to miss only one start after being placed on the disabled list with what was described by the Red Sox as “mild” shoulder inflammation.

Sale is eligible to return on Wednesday. But the Sox have scheduled Drew Pomeranz , Brian Johnson and Rick Porcello for the series at Toronto that starts on Tuesday night.

Sale’s injury has not worsened, according to president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski. The Sox are just waiting to return him to the rotation.

Cora said Sunday he wants to reconfigure the rotation to keep Sale from having to hit when the Red Sox play in Philadelphia Aug. 14 and 15.


The plan now is for Sale to “most likely” pitch one of the four games in Baltimore, Cora said. That series starts Thursday.

“For me, that actually works,” Cora said after a 5-4, 10-inning victory against the Yankees.

Sale is 11-4 with a 2.04 earned run average in 22 starts.

For Pomeranz, Tuesday’s start could determine whether he will remain in the rotation. The lefthander is 1-5 with a 6.56 ERA in 10 starts — 0-2 with a 5.59 ERA since spending nearly eight weeks on the disabled list with biceps tendinitis.

Related: Red Sox sweep Yankees with stirring late rally

Devers close

Third baseman Rafael Devers , who is on the disabled list with a strained left hamstring, went through an extensive workout before the game.

Devers played catch, did a series of base-running drills and took ground balls at third base. He then stood at the plate to track pitches while Eduardo Rodriguez threw off the mound.

The plan is for Devers to report to Single A Lowell on Monday to play 6-7 innings. The Spinners host Vermont at 6:35 p.m. at LeLacheur Park.


Devers would then join up with the Red Sox in Toronto. He is eligible to come off the disabled list on Wednesday.

Devers was injured while running the bases on July 28.

Related: Gasper: Even when Red Sox do it wrong, they can do no wrong

Welcomed day offThe Red Sox were scheduled to leave for Toronto after the game on Sunday. A number of injured players will remain behind to do rehab work at Fenway Park. That group will include Ian Kinsler , Blake Swihart , and Steven Wright.

Swihart (right) and Kinsler (left) have hamstring strains. Alex Cora said both are recovering well and could return to the roster when eligible or shortly after.

Cora is looking forward to the day off in Toronto on Monday after what was a hectic week. The trade deadline was Tuesday; he attended a memorial service for a close friend’s teenaged son in Miami on Wednesday and then came the four games against the Yankees.

“We need this off day as a team,” Cora said.

Related: Cafardo: David Price had something to prove against the Yankees

Chips bag value

During his pregame press session, Cora praised what Kinsler, righthander Nathan Eovaldi and first baseman/DH Steve Pearce have contributed to the team since being acquired by trade.

Eovaldi is 2-0 through two starts and has thrown 15 scoreless innings. Pearce has hit .333 with a 1.097 OPS in 20 games. He has five home runs and 14 RBIs.

Kinsler appeared in only three games before he was injured but was 4 for 10 with a double, two RBIs and two stolen bases.

That the Sox had the trade chips to acquire three helpful players was not lost on the manager.


“The topic is always about our minor league system, how quote/unquote weak it is,” Cora said. “We got Nathan, Ian and Steve and they’re three pretty good players.”

Sunday was a good day for the minor league system. Power-hitting third base prospect Bobby Dalbec , 23, hit two home runs and walked twice in his fourth game since being promoted to Double A Portland.

Another power hitter, 22-year-old first baseman Josh Ockimey , homered for Triple A Pawtucket. He is 3 for 11 with two home runs in three games since being promoted.

Dalbec was a fourth-round pick in 2016 and Ockimey a fifth-round pick in 2014.

Related: Eduardo Rodriguez throws off mound for first time since injury

Stop, thief

The Red Sox were successful in 13 stolen base attempts against the Yankees this season before Xander Bogaerts was thrown out trying to steal second by Austin Romine in the second inning. Through Saturday, the Sox led the majors with 87 steals. . . . Mookie Betts is 21 of 51 (.412) with 11 extra-base hits, 10 RBIs and 16 runs in 13 games against the Yankees this season. . . . The Sox have a major league-best 2.41 ERA since the All-Star break with their starters having a 1.74. . . . The games on Friday and Saturday lasted four hours and 48 minutes. The Sunday night/Monday morning game was 4:39, the longest of the season. . . . Patriots coach Bill Belichick and girlfriend Linda Holliday were at the game, sitting with Red Sox special assistant Tony La Russa in Dombrowski’s box behind home plate. Belichick and La Russa are long-time friends.


Patriots coach Bill Belichick was at the game with his girlfriend, Linda Holliday, watching from Dave Dombrowski’s box at Fenway Park.Michael Dwyer/Associated Press

Peter Abraham can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @PeteAbe.