Red Sox manager Alex Cora provides injury update on Mookie Betts
Mookie Betts was removed from the game after banging into the right field wall but should return to the Boston Red Sox lineup later this week.
The Boston Red Sox will be without leadoff hitter Mookie Betts on Wednesday but the team remains optimistic that they will get him back before the season ends.
Betts crashed into the wall in right field while tracking a triple off the bat of Delino DeShields to begin the bottom of the second inning. He banged his left foot hard against the wall on the play, the same sore foot that sidelined him for five games last week. Betts limped around the field for the remainder of the inning but was replaced by Gorkys Hernandez in the bottom of the third.
Alex Cora told reporters after the game that Betts would be given the next night off but could return for Thursday afternoon’s series finale in Texas. The manager sounded optimistic that Betts would be in the lineup for the final series of the season this weekend against the Baltimore Orioles.
While there’s some concern that Betts aggravated an injury that already cost him a handful of games, his early exit last night seems to be precautionary. Cora revealed that he initially intended to give Betts the night off but the star outfielder insisted on being in the lineup with Eduardo Rodriguez aiming for his 19th win of the season.
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Betts didn’t stick around long in this game but he made an impact with his 29th home run of the season. The solo shot gave the Red Sox a 5-4 lead at the time. The Rangers would rally to tie the game in the bottom of the inning when Mookie’s collision with the wall gifted DeShields a triple that would then allow him to score on a sac fly.
Boston reclaimed the lead in the third and E-Rod hung around just long enough to be credited with the win. Betts was out of the game by that point but his home run gave the Red Sox a bit of a cushion in a game where the Rangers put the tying runs on base in the eighth inning. Texas had one last opportunity with the tying run at the plate in the ninth before Brandon Workman slammed the door shut.
Betts is one home run shy of joining teammates J.D. Martinez, Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers in the 30-homer club. The Red Sox have never had four batters with 30+ home runs in a single season. There’s a strong chance this lineup makes history if Betts can return by this weekend to face an Orioles pitching staff that he’s historically dominated and has already set an MLB record for the most home runs allowed this season.
The upcoming series hosting the O’s at Fenway Park may be the last opportunity for fans to see Betts wearing a Red Sox uniform. Rumors are swirling that the team will entertain trade offers for the 2018 MVP ahead of his final year before he reaches free agency.
It would be foolish to let Betts leave, but that’s a debate for another day. The narrative is that one of the game’s best players may be on his way out of town and the Fenway Faithful will flock to the ballpark to see him just in case it’s for the last time. It’s the final series of a lost season but if Betts is healthy enough to play, he should be in the lineup. The games may be meaningless in the standings but his presence would mean something to the fanbase.