Chris Sale, backed by Boston Red Sox bats, wins in first start since 2019

Chris Sale puts in a strong performance at Fenway Park, winning 16-2 against the Red Sox. (0:33).
BOSTON -- Chris Sale wanted it all. Sale has a fresh outlook on his big-league career.

Sale's second appearance in the major leagues in two years gave the Boston Red Sox five home runs while crushing Baltimore 16-2 on Saturday. This was the Orioles' 10th consecutive loss.

"When I stepped out the dugout, it was clear that there would be something. Sale stated that he didn't expect all of it. "I was trying to take in the moments. This won't last forever.

Sale, 32, made his Tommy John surgery recovery complete by pitching five innings and giving up two runs to Austin Hays in the third. The left-hander's sharp slider was his main weapon and Sale struck out eight batters to earn the win.

Sale stated, "Today was an important day for me and many other people." "Like I said before, this game was taken out of my hands. For two years, I felt a hole in the chest. To be honest, I took the days as a given. I'm so grateful for the opportunity to have this conversation. Through it all, I have had a profound shift in my perspective. I can assure you that I won't waste another day of my big-league career.

Chris Sale was back at the Red Sox's mound for the first time since August 13, 2019, Photo by Rich Gagnon/Getty Images

Rafael Devers helped Boston get off to a quick start by hitting a three-run homer against Jorge Lopez in the first (3-13). J.D. Martinez drove in three runs for the Red Sox and Bobby Dalbec scored a solo homer during a seven-run fifth. This was right after Sale had left to a loud applause.

Dalbec scored his second solo homer in the seventh inning, while Hunter Renfroe hit the eighth.

Alex Cora gave Sale (1-0), a handshake and a hug after he finished the fifth.

Cora stated, "It was an amazing feeling, man." It was the first time I've felt that kind of feeling in quite some time. It was hard for him to train through spring training in '19.

"I will never forget the moment we returned to the clubhouse [today]"

Sale was activated from the 60 day injured list prior to Saturday's contest. He last pitched in majors on Aug. 13, 2019, when he began. Sale, a seven-time All-Star, had surgery on March 30, 2020. He missed last year's pandemic-shortened season.

Sale's return ignited an electric atmosphere at Fenway Park on a hot afternoon. Sale was warmly greeted as he entered the bullpen to warm-up. Many fans lined up to take photos and videos of Sale as he walked towards the bullpen. Sale hugged Christian Vazquez, the catcher, and then walked to the dugout to a standing ovation.

"I don’t know if it was the first time I stepped out into the bullpen. Sale described it as "amazing".

Many fans stood up when Hays fouled Sale's pitch at 94.2 mph.

He was extraordinary. Sale was "amazing." Cora stated. "Today was a very special day for this company. He went through a lot, he worked hard, and he didn't feel good about himself for not being able to contribute the first time in his professional career."

Red Sox outfielder/designated hitter Kyle Schwarber was given the day off after he made his debut Friday night, with Cora saying, "We've got to take care of him."

Schwarber was out since July 2, with a tight right hamstring, and had missed two weeks following his acquisition from the Washington Nationals.

Cora stated that Schwarber will be in Sunday's lineup and will also play Tuesday's doubleheader at Yankee Stadium after the club has been off Monday.

This report was contributed by The Associated Press.