Boston Red Sox lefty Chris Sale returning Saturday vs. Baltimore Orioles

Red Sox left-hander Chris Sale is coming back, and it can't come soon enough for Boston.

Red Sox manager Alex Cora told reporters that Sale has completed his minor league rehab assignment and will start Saturday's game against the Baltimore Orioles.

Sale made five rehab starts in the minors, and Cora said Sunday that the seven-time All-Star feels great.

Sale hasn't pitched in the majors since Aug. 13, 2019. He had Tommy John surgery in March 2020.

The Red Sox have lost eight of 10 games to fall three games behind the first-place Tampa Bay Rays in the AL East. After their game Sunday against the Toronto Blue Jays, the Red Sox have a three-game set with Tampa Bay before a weekend series against Baltimore.

Sale, 32, pitched 20 innings over his five minor league rehab starts, recording a 1.35 ERA and 35 strikeouts. He had eight strikeouts over 4⅔ scoreless innings Saturday in his final rehab start with Triple-A Worcester.

"I felt like what I did tonight, I could have gone and done that in a big league game," Sale told reporters Saturday, according to MLB.com. "I would say my last two starts, I've felt normal."