Red Sox get bullpen help with return of Sawamura, Davis

MLB

SEATTLE (AP)Boston activated reliever Hirokazu Sawamura from the COVID-19 injured list and returned left-handed pitcher Austin Davis from the paternity list on Monday, giving a boost to the Red Sox bullpen going into a key series against Seattle.

Red Sox manager Alex Cora said there could be more players coming off the COVID-19 injured list in the coming days. Left-hander Martin Perez is expected to be activated on Tuesday, and Cora is holding out hope that left-handed starter Chris Sale could return this weekend against Baltimore.

Sale is on the COVID-19 injured list, but Cora said he has shown no symptoms. Sale tested positive late last week and was scratched from his scheduled start on Sunday.

The Red Sox have nine players on the COVID-19 injured list.

In his first season in the majors, Sawamura has become a key piece of Boston’s bullpen. The right-hander is 4-1 with a 3.09 ERA working primarily as a seventh- or eighth-inning option for Cora. Sawamura hasn’t pitched since Aug. 28 against Cleveland.

Davis has appeared in 14 games for Boston since being acquired from Pittsburgh and has a 4.61 ERA in his time with the Red Sox. He has held opponents scoreless in eight of his nine appearances, and allowed three runs on in a loss to Cleveland on Aug. 29.

Boston optioned lefty Stephen Gonsalves and righty Brad Peacock to Triple-A Worcester to clear roster spots for Sawamura and Davis.

Cora said Sale is trying to stay as active as possible so that once he’s cleared to return he can rejoin the rotation.

”I do believe he has a huge patio at the house, so I bet he’s either throwing rocks to the trees or throwing baseballs to a net,” Cora said. ”I believe he’ll find a way to keep his arm sound and he’ll be ready whenever.”

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