Xander Bogaerts, Eric Hosmer return to Red Sox lineup for Tuesday’s game against Rays

Xander Bogaerts and Eric Hosmer are both back in the Red Sox’ lineup for Tuesday’s contest against the Rays at Fenway Park.

Bogaerts has missed each of Boston’s last two games due to back tightness. He will be batting third and starting at shortstop on Tuesday. Hosmer was activated from the injured list on Monday after missing the last six weeks with low back inflammation. He will be batting seventh and starting at first base in place of Triston Casas.

Hosmer, who was originally placed on the 10-day injured list on August 21, was unable to go out on a rehab assignment since the minor-league season is already over. The 32-year-old instead spent his weekend at Fenway hitting off a high-tech pitching simulator.

“We’ve got this machine down there, it’s like a simulator or whatever,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said on Sunday. “What comes out is pretty similar to the stuff [of MLB pitchers]. You put, for example, Gerrit Cole, and the machine actually calibers the stuff based on his last start. So he’s been facing some good big-league pitching the past few days.”

Since being acquired from the Padres at the trade deadline, Hosmer has been limited to just 12 games with the Sox. The left-handed hitter has batted .225/.311/.300 with three doubles, four RBIs, six runs scored, four walks, and nine strikeouts across 45 plate appearances.

Bogaerts, meanwhile, felt his back tighten up on him when he tried to hit in the batting cage prior to Monday’s 4-3 win over Tampa Bay. As a result, he was scratched from the lineup but is back in there for the penultimate game of the season.

In his last nine games dating back to September 22, Bogaerts has gone 4-for-33 (.121) at the plate, likely putting him out of contention for the American League batting title. Still, the 30-year-old infielder is expected to become a free-agent this winter if he exercises the opt-out clause in his contract, so these could very well be his last few days playing in a Red Sox uniform.

Speaking of pending free-agents, Nathan Eovaldi is on the mound for his final start of the season. Connor Wong will be catching the right-hander while batting out of the nine-hole. Here is how the rest of the Red Sox will be lining up as they go up against Rays lefty Jeffrey Springs to start things out on Tuesday:

1. LF Tommy Pham

2. 3B Rafael Devers

3. SS Xander Bogaerts

4. RF Alex Verdugo

5. DH J.D. Martinez

6. CF Kiké Hernández

7. 1B Eric Hosmer

8. 2B Christian Arroyo

9. C Connor Wong

First pitch from Fenway Park is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Xander Bogaerts and Eric Hosmer: Winslow Townson/Getty Images)

Xander Bogaerts out of Red Sox lineup due to back tightness

Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts is dealing with back tightness and is therefore out of the starting lineup for Monday’s series opener against the Rays at Fenway Park.

Bogaerts, who also missed Sunday’s series finale against the Blue Jays in Toronto, is expected to exercise the opt-out clause in his contract and become a free-agent this winter. Because of that, Red Sox manager Alex Cora was planning on starting the 30-year-old in all three games with Tampa Bay to close out the season.

While that plan has since been scrapped, Cora is optimistic that Bogaerts will be back in the lineup on both Tuesday and Wednesday. As noted by MLB.com’s Ian Browne, the veteran infielder has been bothered by his back in recent weeks but has still been able to play for the most part. He previously told MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo that he prefers taking off days on the road because he feels like he owes it to the fans to be in the lineup at home.

“I just like playing at home,” Bogaerts said back in June. “It’s been like that throughout my career. There’s a lot of kids that go there to the park. If there would be one stadium where there’s a lot of Bogaerts jerseys, you’d probably say it’s Fenway. The other places, they’re on the road.”

Bogaerts is putting the finishing touches on another fine season with Boston. The right-handed hitter is currently batting .305/.376/.450 with 38 doubles, 14 home runs, 69 RBIs, 83 runs scored, eight stolen bases, 57 walks, and 117 strikeouts over 148 games (625 plate appearances). He came into play Monday trailing the Twins’ Luis Arraez (.315) and the Yankees’ Aaron Judge (.311) in the race for the American League batting title.

With Bogaerts out of the lineup on Monday, Enrique Hernandez is starting at shortstop in his place.

(Picture of Xander Bogaerts: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Trevor Story (left heel pain) remains out of Red Sox Sox lineup, targeting weekend return

Trevor Story is not in the Red Sox’ starting lineup for Friday’s series opener against the Royals at Fenway Park. The second baseman has missed each of Boston’s last two games after banging his left feel on the first-base bag in the seventh inning of Sunday’s 1-0 win over the Orioles in Baltimore.

Earlier this week, Red Sox manager Alex Cora had been optimistic that Story would be able to return by Friday at the latest. That no longer appears possible, but Cora remains hopeful that the 29-year-old will be back in the lineup at some point this weekend.

“He’s doing a little better,” Cora said of Story (via MLB.com’s Ian Browne), who is officially dealing with left heel pain. “We’re going to push him tomorrow to do more baseball activities. Hopefully he can post tomorrow or Sunday.”

Story, who was sidelined for more than six weeks earlier this summer because of a small hairline fracture near his right wrist, has batted .340/.389/.500 with five doubles, one home run, eight RBIs, four runs scored, three stolen bases, four walks, and 17 strikeouts in 13 games (54 plate appearances) since returning from the injured list on August 27.

With Story out of the lineup, Christian Arroyo is starting at second base in his place while also batting seventh on Friday.

(Picture of Trevor Story: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Trevor Story (sore left heel) not in Red Sox lineup for Tuesday’s series opener against Yankees; Christian Arroyo starting in his place

Red Sox second baseman Trevor Story is not in the starting lineup for Tuesday’s series opener against the Yankees at Fenway Park.

Story has been dealing with soreness in his left heel since Sunday, when he grounded into an inning-ending double play in the seventh inning of a 1-0 win over the Orioles in Baltimore.

Upon making contact with the first-base bag, Story came up gimpy and was removed from the game. He was replaced defensively by Christian Arroyo, who will be starting in his place at second base on Tuesday while batting sixth.

Story, who spent more than six weeks on the injured list earlier this summer because of a small hairline fracture near his right wrist, does not expect to be out too long this time around. The 29-year-old told reporters (including The Boston Globe’s Pete Abraham) that he is day-to-day after banging his left heel. Red Sox manager Alex Cora also said he does not believe Story’s injury is serious and he should be by Wednesday or Friday at the latest.

Since returning from the 60-day injured list on August 27, Story has batted a stout .340/.389/.500 with five doubles, one home run, eight RBIs, four runs scored, three stolen bases, four walks, and 17 strikeouts over his last 13 games (54 plate appearances). He has also provided the Red Sox with superb defense at second base, a position he had never played at the major-league level prior to this year.

Arroyo, meanwhile, has been on a hot streak of his own at the plate. The right-handed hitting 27-year-old is slashing .342/.377/.488 with 10 doubles, one triple, two home runs, 17 RBIs, 15 runs scored, two stolen bases, seven walks, and 23 strikeouts across his last 32 games (131 plate appearances) dating back to July 30.

On the other side of the ball, Arroyo will be making his 26th start of the season at second base on Tuesday. In the process of logging 223 innings at his primary position this year, Arroyo has posted four Defensive Runs Saved and an Ultimate Zone Rating of 1.1., per FanGraphs.

Latest on Yu Chang

Speaking of infielders, the Red Sox claimed Yu Chang off waivers from the Rays on Monday. Chang is already on Boston’s 40-man roster, but the 27-year-old will need to be added to the major-league roster since he is out of minor-league options.

Because of this, the Red Sox will need to remove someone — whether it be by placing them on the injured list, optioning them, or designating them for assignment — from the 28-man roster in order to activate Chang.

MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo reports that Chang is not expected to join the club on Tuesday, so they are not required to make a roster move yet. However, it will be something to monitor in the coming days.

(Picture of Christian Arroyo and Trevor Story: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Bobby Dalbec set to make first career start at shortstop for Red Sox

As the Red Sox look to bounce back against the Blue Jays on Wednesday night, Bobby Dalbec will be making his first-ever start at shortstop.

With Xander Bogaerts out of the lineup due to back spasms and Enrique Hernandez starting at second base in place of a banged-up Christian Arroyo, Dalbec will serve as Hernandez’s double play partner.

While Dalbec has never started a game at shortstop in the major-leagues, he did play four innings at the position last season without committing an error. The 27-year-old also logged three innings at short as a minor-leaguer in 2018, though he never saw time at the position during his three seasons at the University of Arizona.

Dalbec will become the fourth different player the Red Sox have started at shortstop this season, joining the likes of Bogarts, Arroyo, Hernandez, and Jonathan Arauz. The right-handed hitter, who will bat seventh on Wednesday, is currently slashing .206/.279/.364 with 11 home runs, 32 RBIs, and 35 runs scored in 105 games (319 plate appearances) for Boston this year.

With Dalbec handling things at shortstop, Rafael Devers will start at third base and Franchy Cordero will start at first base. Alex Verdugo, Jarren Duran, and leadoff man Rob Refsnyder make up the starting outfield from left to right. Tommy Pham, like Bogaerts, is not available because of back spasms.

Brayan Bello, who was just activated from the injured list after missing the last three weeks with a left groin strain, is making his fourth start and sixth overall appearance of the season. Reese McGuire will be catching the rookie right-hander.

First pitch from Fenway Park is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Bobby Dalbec: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

J.D. Martinez returns to Red Sox lineup after missing last 4 games with back spasms

After missing the last four games because of back spasms, J.D. Martinez is back in the Red Sox lineup for Tuesday’s game against the Guardians at Fenway Park.

Martinez will bat cleanup while serving as Boston’s designated hitter. The veteran slugger missed all of last weekend’s series against the Blue Jays and was absent from Monday night’s rain-filled 3-1 win over Cleveland.

In 81 games this season, Martinez is batting .302/.368/.481 with 30 doubles, nine home runs, 38 RBIs, 51 runs scored, 31 walks, and 84 strikeouts across 356 trips to the plate. The right-handed hitting 34-year-old represented the Red Sox in last week’s All-Star Game in Los Angeles and went 0-for-2 with a strikeout off the bench.

Martinez, who actually turns 35 next month, is eligible to become a free-agent at the end of the season as he is in the final year of the five-year, $109.95 million contract he signed with Boston back in February 2018.

While Martinez’s run in Boston has been a rousing success, the Red Sox could look to deal the five-time All-Star if they decide to sell at the August 2 trade deadline.

(Picture of J.D. Martinez: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

J.D. Martinez (back spasms) out of Red Sox lineup for Monday’s series opener against Guardians

J.D. Martinez remains out of the Red Sox lineup as the veteran slugger continues to deal with back spasms.

After missing the entirety of this weekend’s series against the Blue Jays, Martinez is once again on the bench for the start of Monday’s series-opening contest with the Guardians at Fenway Park.

The Red Sox had been optimistic that Martinez would be able to return on Monday. While that is no longer the case, manager Alex Cora told reporters (including the Boston Globe’s Alex Speier) that Martinez is feeling better and could be available to pinch-hit later Monday night.

Martinez, who turns 35 next month, has yet to suit up for the Red Sox since representing the club in last Tuesday’s All-Star Game in Los Angeles, where he went 0-for-2 with a strikeout as a reserve.

Prior to last week’s All-Star break, the right-handed hitter was batting .302/.368/.481 with 30 doubles, nine home runs, 38 RBIs, 51 runs scored, 31 walks, and 84 strikeouts through his first 81 games (356 plate appearances) of the season. As a free-agent to-be, he very well could be traded away ahead of next Tuesday’s trade deadline.

In Martinez’s place, Rob Refsnyder will serve as Boston’s designated hitter while batting out of the two-hole on Monday. The 31-year-old is currently slashing a stout .326/.383/.512 to go along with two home runs, four RBIs, and seven runs scored over 16 games (47 plate appearances) in the month of July.

(Picture of J.D. Martinez: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

J.D. Martinez remains out of Red Sox lineup because of back spasms, but veteran slugger could return on Sunday or Monday

J.D. Martinez is out of the Red Sox’ lineup for a second straight day as the veteran slugger continues to deal with back spasms.

Originally scratched from Friday’s lineup about 80 minutes before first pitch, Martinez could return to action for Sunday’s series finale against the Blue Jays or Monday’s series opener against the Guardians at Fenway Park.

“Doesn’t feel great but hopefully by tomorrow or Monday he’ll be back in the lineup,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora told reporters (including MassLive.com’s Christopher Smith) at Fenway Park on Saturday afternoon.

Martinez, who represented Boston in last Tuesday’s All-Star Game in Los Angeles, is currently batting .302/.368/.481 with 30 doubles, nine home runs, 38 RBIs, 51 runs scored, 31 walks, and 84 strikeouts over 81 games (356 plate appearances). The 34-year-old is eligible to become a free-agent at the end of the season.

In Martinez’s place, Franchy Cordero is serving as the Red Sox’ designated hitter for Saturday’s contest against the Blue Jays. Cordero is batting out of the five-hole.

(Picture of J.D. Martinez: Kathryn Riley/Getty Images)

J.D. Martinez scratched from Red Sox lineup due to back spasms

J.D. Martinez was originally batting third and starting at designated hitter for the Red Sox in their series opener against the Blue Jays at Fenway Park on Friday night.

But about 80 minutes before first pitch, Martinez was scratched from Boston’s lineup due to what the club described as back spasms. The veteran slugger was replaced by Rob Refsnyder, who swapped spots in the batting order with third baseman Rafael Devers.

This is not the first time this season that Martinez has dealt with back issues. The 34-year-old was also a late scratch against the Mariners back on May 22 for the very same reason. He previously missed seven of a possible nine games in late April because of left adductor tightness.

Fresh off being named an All-Star for the fifth time in his career, Martinez is batting .302/.368/.481 with 30 doubles, nine home runs, 38 RBIs, 51 runs scored, 31 walks, and 84 strikeouts over 81 games (356 plate appearances) so far this season.

It remains to be seen if Martinez will be able to return to action against Toronto on Saturday.

(Picture of J.D. Martinez: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Rob Refsnyder leading off as Red Sox look to bounce back against Yankees in Connor Seabold’s first career start at Fenway Park

The Red Sox are rolling with a right-handed heavy lineup as they look to even their series against the Yankees on Friday night.

Yankees starter Nestor Cortes — a left-handed pitcher — comes into play Friday holding opposing left-handed hitters to a measly .116/.156/.186 slash line against through his first 15 starts of the season.

With that, the likes of Jackie Bradley Jr., Franchy Cordero, and Jarren Duran are all out of Boston’s starting lineup. In their place, Christian Arroyo will get the start in right field, Bobby Dalbec will start at first base, and Rob Refsnyder will start in center while serving as Alex Cora’s leadoff hitter.

Rafael Devers and Alex Verdugo are the only two left-handed hitters in Cora’s lineup. Devers will bat out of the two-hole while Verdugo will bat sixth, per usual. Xander Bogaerts, J.D. Martinez, and Christian Vazquez will make up the 3-4-5 portion of the batting order. Behind Verdugo will be Trevor Story, Arroyo, and Dalbec.

Of these nine hitters, Devers is the only one who has taken Cortes deep in the past, and he has done so on two separate occasions.

Vazquez, after getting the night off on Thursday, will be catching rookie right-hander Connor Seabold. The 26-year-old is slated to make his first-career start at Fenway Park after being recalled from Triple-A Worcester in place of the injured Michael Wacha earlier Friday afternoon.

Seabold is in line to become the third straight rookie to start a game for the Sox after Brayan Bello did so on Wednesday and Josh Winckowski did so on Thursday. In his first two starts of the season last week, Seabold allowed eight earned runs on 15 hits, three walks, and 11 strikeouts over 8 2/3 combined innings against the Blue Jays and Cubs.

If the Red Sox can defeat the Yankees on Friday, it will mark just their 10th win of the year against a divisional opponent. First pitch from Fenway Park is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN and MLB Network.

(Picture of Rob Refsnyder: Paul Rutherford/Getty Images)