The Boston Red Sox fell to the Tampa Bay Rays 4-1 in the series opener at Tropicana Field on Thursday, but that wasn’t the only loss Boston suffered in the contest.
The Red Sox were without Xander Bogaerts for the majority of the game after the shortstop was forced to exit the contest following his hit-by-pitch on the hand in the first inning. But while the injury was serious enough to pull Bogaerts out of action, the X-rays that followed provided a sigh of relief for the Sox.
“He’s day to day,” manager John Farrell said, as seen on NESN’s Red Sox postgame coverage. “He went for X-rays here, which were negative. He’s got some swelling in that right hand. He was hit on the outside of the hand on the fatty part of the hand, so we’ll check on him when he comes in tomorrow. Whether he’s available or not, we’ll determine at that time.”
Bogaerts said he was encouraged by the X-ray results, but didn’t hide the fact that he still was experiencing some pain.
“Yeah, I am (encouraged), but I’m not encouraged by how it’s feeling,” he said. “The X-rays tell a lot, so hopefully it feels better tomorrow when I wake up. I’ve been putting a lot of ice on it, so we’ll see what happens tomorrow.”
The plunking added on to an already lousy day for Bogaerts, who fell short in the final fan vote for the American League All-Star team. Although he won’t be heading to Miami for the festivities, the 24-year-old was more than appreciative of the fans’ support.
“I lost and then I got hit, so those were two tough ones,” he said. “It’s definitely an honor to be up there. I know the fans back at home tried their best, so I’m definitely blessed to have them on my side. Hopefully next year I’ll be there.”
We have a feeling Bogaerts will be featured in a number of All-Star games throughout his career.
Here are some other notes from Red Sox-Rays.
— Chris Sale wasn’t at his best against the Rays, but the left-hander still struck out 12 batters. His 12th 10-plus strikeout game of the season set a record for a Red Sox pitcher before the All-Star break.
— Brian Johnson has been activated from the 10-day disabled list and optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket.
— Mookie Betts has run into a bit of a cold streak. The star outfielder is 1-for-18 at the plate since his two-home run, eight-RBI performance against the Toronto Blue Jays on Sunday.
— Tzu-Wei Lin didn’t record a hit Thursday, but he did reach base twice via walk. After the game, Farrell praised the rookie’s ability to work the count.
“It seems like every time he walks into the batter’s box he has three balls on him,” Farrell said. “That was the case tonight in three consecutive at-bats where he draws two base-on-balls, he gets in a good hitter’s count once again in the third at-bat and hits a hard comebacker. And then even in the ninth inning he puts up a quality at-bat against a good closer. He’s patient, he’s calm and he’s clearly under control at this level.
“I think the one thing that stands out is that you get to face pitchers who are going to throw the ball over the plate more. He’s got a disciplined strike zone, and he doesn’t expand outside of it. I’m not going to say opponents take him for granted, but when you get into good hitter’s counts he has a compact swing that he can get the barrel to it.”
Thumbnail photo via Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports Images