The Boston Red Sox' COVID outbreak has reached their ace.
Left-handed pitcher Chris Sale has tested positive for COVID-19 and will miss his scheduled start Sunday, Mass Live's Chris Cotillo reported Thursday.
Sale had a "mild case" of COVID in mid-January in which he lost his sense of taste and smell for about a week. The length of his current absence will depend on his vaccination status, which isn't public knowledge.
The Red Sox have been ravaged by COVID over the past several weeks: Sale will become the twelfth Boston player to hit the COVID-related injured list, and 10 of those 12 players have tested positive since Aug. 27.
Outfielder Hunter Renfroe claimed Thursday that Major League Baseball told the Red Sox to "stop testing" amid the outbreak, a claim which MLB denied.
Sale allowed five runs over 3.2 innings in his last outing against the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday but otherwise has been excellent since returning from Tommy John surgery last month. The veteran hurler owns a 2.52 ERA over five starts this season with 30 strikeouts in 25 innings.
It's possible right-hander Nick Pivetta could return from his COVID-related absence to replace Sale in the rotation Sunday against the Chicago White Sox.