Boston starter Chris Sale delivers a pitch against Cincinnati during the first inning Thursday at Fenway Park in Boston. Sale left in the fourth inning because of left shoulder soreness and the Red Sox rallied for an 8-2 win over the Reds. Steven Senne/Associated Press

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 outs 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, Kiké 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.

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.

Sale, 34, has been on a tear for the last month-plus. Entering Thursday, the lefty owned a 2.91 ERA in his last seven starts, allowing 14 earned runs and 32 hits in 43 1/3 innings. He struck out 46 batters in that span.

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