The Boston Red Sox will be without their star right fielder for longer than anticipated.
Mookie Betts was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a left abdominal strain prior to Boston’s 7-3 loss to the Houston Astros on Friday night from Minute Maid Park. The move is retroactive to Tuesday, making the 25-year-old eligible to return to the Sox roster June 8.
Red Sox manager Alex Cora said a conversation with Betts before the game prompted the decision
“We went to the cage (and) he was going to take live (batting practice), you could see he was a little hesitant,” Cora said, as seen on NESN’s Red Sox postgame coverage. “He made some progress, but he feels he’s not there yet.”
The skipper also noted he told Betts “let’s keep progressing and when you’re ready, you’re ready.”
Betts said after the game that the injury was feeling better and he only feels it when he swings, per The Boston Herald’s Jason Mastrodonato. And even though it’s pain he says he could play through, Betts doesn’t want to run the risk of further injuring himself.
It’s uncertain whether the 25-year-old will return in 10 days or if he will need more time for the strain to heal. Boston recalled Sam Travis from Triple-A Pawtucket to fill Betts’ spot on the roster.
Here are other notes from Friday’s Red Sox-Astros game:
— Chris Sale pitched six innings, giving up four runs (all earned) on six hits with six strikeouts. He only walked one batter, a marked improvement over his four-walk performance last time out. This is the first time the lefty has lost consecutive games since August 2017.
“It’s frustrating,” Sale said after the game. “Two bad innings overall and (it) costs your team the game. … I’ve had two bad outings (and) they just happen to be back-to-back.”
— Mitch Moreland and J.D. Martinez hit back-to-back home runs in the fourth inning to bring Boston within a run. Sale had high praise for his teammates after the game, saying the homers picked him up after going down early.
“I appreciate that, obviously,” he said. “(But) I still gotta find another way to win.”
Martinez’s blast marked his 19th of the season, making him the sole leader of home runs in Major League Baseball.
— Dustin Pedroia missed his second straight game after he was a late scratch Thursday with left knee soreness.
Cora said the second baseman did not perform any baseball activities Friday and likely won’t play Saturday.
— Joe Kelly gave up three runs in the eighth inning. Before that, the right-handed pitcher had only surrendered one run since Opening Day.