The news was good on Wednesday, and Chris Sale will be pitching in Portland again this weekend.

Sale woke up Wednesday morning “feeling great” after dominating in a rehab start with the Double-A Portland Sea Dogs on Tuesday night. Sale is working his way back to the Red Sox after having Tommy John surgery.

With a new nutritional plan that cut out gluten and alcohol from his diet, among other changes, Sale has been a model of good health in his recovery over the last few months. Next stop: another start for the Sea Dogs at Hadlock Field on Sunday.

“Everyone is excited for what we saw yesterday,” Red Sox Manager Cora said. “I’m happier with where he’s at today and hopefully we keep progressing the way he should be and they’ll join us whenever he’s ready.”

Sale hit 98 mph on the gun over 3 2/3 hitless innings for the Sea Dogs on Tuesday night.

“He was a little bit off mechanic-wise early on, and that’s part of the progression now,” Cora said. “He’s pitching in front of fans. The competition is a little bit better. But he settled down and he’s able to repeat his delivery. The slider was really good. The fastball obviously was up, velocity-wise.


“Everybody is very happy with the way the outing went. When he was warming up, he was excited. He was a little off. But little by little he was able to repeat it and he was great.”

It’s uncertain if Sale will need one or two more rehab starts before he returns to Boston, but it’s certainly feasible Sunday’s start could be his last before he’s back in the big leagues for the first time in two years.

Cora had an interesting comment when laying out his rotation for the rest of the week.

“We’re going Tanner Houck, Eduardo Rodriguez, Nathan Eovaldi and Martin Perez over the weekend,” Cora said. “If everything goes well and he’s healthy, we’ll go Nick Pivetta on Monday, Garrett Richards on Tuesday and we’ll decide what we do after that.”

It’s unclear if he was talking about Sale being healthy or someone else.

With Houck in the rotation, the Sox will stick with a six-man group going forward.

“I think it’s beneficial for them,” Cora said. “Although we just came out of the All-Star break, although we had the rainout yesterday, it was something we planned before the season and we’ll stick with it.”

Sale feeling good Wednesday was important. The day after is always the big test. A pair of New York-based aces who had Tommy John around the same time as Sale – Noah Syndergaard and Luis Severino – and both failed the day-after test in their minor league rehab assignments and have been sidelined all summer.

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