Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts was forced to exit Tuesday’s 8-4 loss to the Rays in the seventh inning due to back spasms, manager Alex Cora said.
Bogaerts went 0-for-3 with a strikeout before leaving Tuesday’s contest at Tropicana Field early. He grounded into a double play in the top of the sixth and appeared to be in visible pain as he was running to first base.
While Bogaerts was able to take the field for the bottom of the sixth, he could not do the same in the seventh after making the team aware of how he was feeling.
“He came in the sixth inning and told us he was locked up,” said Cora. “We’ll stay away from him tomorrow and then we’ll see how he feels for Friday.”
This is not the first time this season Bogaerts has dealt with back spasms. The 29-year-old was also pulled in the seventh inning of an August 23 game against the Blue Jays for the very same reason. He was out of the lineup the following day but returned to action on Aug. 25.
In this case, the Red Sox are once again optimistic that Bogaerts will only need to miss one game. Boston wraps up its three-game set with the Rays on Wednesday before having an off day on Thursday as it travels to Baltimore for a weekend series against the Orioles.
By going hitless on Tuesday, Bogaerts saw his nine-game multi-hit streak come to an end. The right-handed hitter is now batting .315/.382/.466 on the season to go along with 37 doubles, 12 home runs, 63 RBIs, 77 runs scored, eight stolen bases, 48 walks, and 105 strikeouts over 130 games and 547 plate appearances.
Martinez a late scratch
On the topic of back issues, J.D. Martinez was a late scratch from Tuesday’s lineup due to back tightness. Martinez was replaced by Christian Arroyo, who went 1-for-4 with a run scored and strikeout as Boston’s designated hitter.
The veteran slugger has now missed each of the Red Sox’ last three games, but is expected to be back in the lineup for Wednesday’s series finale against Tampa Bay.
Dating back to the All-Star break, Martinez is slashing just .205/.277/.303 with seven doubles, two homers, 13 runs driven in, 12 runs scored, 13 walks, and 39 strikeouts across his last 35 games. The 35-year-old is slated to become a free-agent this winter.
Pivetta good to go
Nick Pivetta will get the start for the Red Sox in their final game at Tropicana Field this year. The right-hander was forced to leave his last outing early due to a left knee contusion that came as a result of being hit by a 91.4 mph grounder off the bat of Rangers outfielder Leody Taveras.
Starting opposite of Pivetta will be Rays left-hander Jeffrey Springs. First pitch on Wednesday is scheduled for 6:40 p.m. eastern time on NESN.
(Picture of Xander Bogaerts and J.D. Martinez: Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images)