The middle infield for the Red Sox looked much different than usual Wednesday night as Tropicana Field.
As Boston continues to deal with a COVID-19 outbreak, manager Alex Cora has been tasked with making lineup tweaks on a nightly basis. For the penultimate contest of a four-game set against the Rays, two of those adjustments included starting Jonathan Araúz and Jack López at shortstop and second base, respectively. The latter was challenged with making his Major League Baseball debut in a rather high-pressure situation.
Neither Araúz nor López picked up a hit in the Red Sox’s 3-2 win, but they made important defensive contributions to the tune of three double plays. Their efforts earned a tip of the cap from Chris Sale, who logged six solid innings against Tampa Bay.
“That’s everything,” Sale told reporters, per MassLive. “I didn’t have but a couple strikeouts tonight. So that means I was really relying and leaning on my defense. With those guys up the middle, Jack and Araúz, they made some really heads-up plays. With López, it was his major league debut and he made one of the most heads-up plays that saved our butt.”
The Red Sox and the first-place Rays will wrap up their series Thursday night. NESN will provide complete coverage of the finale beginning at 6 p.m. ET.