SEATTLE -- Andrew Benintendi, who had helped carry the top of Boston's batting order while Mookie Betts was on the disabled list, got a rest on Friday night against Mariners ace lefty James Paxton.Benintendi had started 20 straight games, during which time he slashed .342/.424/.734 with seven homers and 17
SEATTLE -- Andrew Benintendi, who had helped carry the top of Boston's batting order while Mookie Betts was on the disabled list, got a rest on Friday night against Mariners ace lefty James Paxton.
Benintendi had started 20 straight games, during which time he slashed .342/.424/.734 with seven homers and 17 RBIs.
"Yeah, just a day off," said Red Sox manager Alex Cora. "We've been talking about it for the last 10 days and today was the day. I know he's struggling against lefties, Paxton is, but we have to take care of ourselves."
Cora is a big believer that it's sometimes best to rest a hitter during a hot streak even if conventional wisdom would suggest the opposite.
"He's been playing a lot, running around, and has been on base a lot," Cora said. "He was going to be out one of the four days, and today is the day. Probably Mookie will have a day off, too. And trying to figure out when Xander [Bogaerts] is going to get an off-day. I don't know if it's going to be this series or the first day in Minnesota, but we have to take care of them."
With Benintendi out, Brock Holt batted second. J.D. Martinez took left field for Benintendi, and Eduardo Nunez served as the DH.
Pomeranz on mend
Lefty Thomas Pomeranz, who is on the disabled list with left biceps tendinitis, had a productive throwing session on flat ground prior to Friday's game.
"Yeah, just talked to [trainer] Brad [Pearson] in there, said he felt good. I'm not sure what's the next step," Cora said. "But at least for him to go out there and throw and feel that way, that's a positive."
Knuckleballer Steven Wright, who pitches Saturday, has been lights-out in the first two starts since he replaced Pomeranz in the rotation.
Pomeranz might have to pitch out of the bullpen when he returns.
"We'll see," said Cora. "First things first, he has to be healthy, that's the most important thing."
Filia returned to Mariners
Outfielder Eric Filia, who was sent to the Red Sox on Tuesday to complete an earlier trade for lefty Roenis Elias, has been returned to the Mariners after failing a physical.
The Mariners instead will send cash to complete the original April 23 trade.
Filia was the Mariners' No. 11-ranked prospect per MLB Pipeline and the club is happy to have him back in its system. The 25-year-old hit .426 (23-for-54) with 10 runs, 14 RBIs and a home run in his first 13 games with Double-A Arkansas after sitting out the first 50 games of this year due to a suspension.
Filia was drafted by the Mariners out of UCLA in the 20th round in 2016 and posted a .326/.407/.434 line with five home runs and 59 RBIs last year in 128 games for Class A Advanced Modesto.
Red Sox make more progress on Draft signings
A day after finalizing a commitment with first-round pick Triston Casas, the Red Sox announced five more signings on Friday: Catcher Kole Cottam (4th round), right-handed pitcher Thaddeus Ward (5th round), third baseman Nicholas Northcut (11th round), outfielder Dylan Hardy (13th round), and shortstop Korby Batesole (26th round).
Cottam, Ward, Hardy and Batesole will report to Class A Lowell. Northcut will report to the rookie-level Gulf Coast League Red Sox.
In all, 13 of the 40 players selected by Boston in the 2018 June Draft have been signed to contracts, including nine of the club's top 11 picks.
Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.