BOSTON -- When Blake Swihart was removed after the fifth inning of Boston's 15-7 win over the Yankees on Thursday night after going 0-for-4, he saw his career-long 11-game hitting streak come to an end. On Friday, the Red Sox's catcher was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a right hamstring strain. Swihart, who was playing his best baseball of the season, will cool his heels as the Red Sox march into a stretch of 10 games in 10 days.
Boston promoted Minor League veteran Dan Butler from Triple-A Pawtucket as the corresponding move and safety net behind catcher Sandy Leon.
Since June 26, Swihart was hitting .366 (15-for-41) with a .959 OPS over 17 games. The switch-hitter is batting .226 with 13 runs, six doubles, one home run, six RBIs and three stolen bases over 51 games for Boston this season. Swihart's walk-off double on Monday gave Boston its 75th win of the season. The 26-year-old has worked hard this season, moving from a third catcher behind Christian Vazquez and Leon at the start of the season, to flashing a career-best hit streak leading up to his injury.
Swihart has made seven starts behind the plate, six in the outfield and four in the infield. Red Sox manager Alex Cora compared the timetable of Swihart's injury to that of Rafael Devers and Brock Holt earlier in the year, hoping it won't take long for the super-utility backstop to recover.
"It's a tough one because he's a catcher," Cora said. "He can say he wants to run, but to be behind the plate, obviously it's not smart to keep him. The smart thing is to take care of him, and hopefully he can be back as soon as possible."
Butler made his big league debut for Boston in 2014 and played in just seven games for the Red Sox that season. The 31-year-old is familiar with the club, having spent nine of his 10 professional seasons in the Red Sox's organization. Butler is a career .252 hitter with 60 home runs and 339 RBIs over 759 Minor League games. In 58 games for the PawSox this season, Butler made 57 starts at catcher, hitting .202 with 18 runs scored, seven doubles, five home runs and 22 RBIs.
Kinsler enjoying first taste of rivalry
On a night when Steve Pearce stole the show, slugging three homers for the first time in his career, Ian Kinsler showed Boston why he and his glove belong at Fenway Park. Kinsler made a pair of glittering defensive plays in just his second game with Boston on Thursday -- and first in the classic Yankees-Red Sox rivalry.
Kinsler said he tried not to get carried away absorbing the electric Fenway Park atmosphere with the Yankees in town.
"I'm not going to lie, I was a little jealous," Kinsler said of being a bystander of the rivalry for the past 13 years. "They're always on TV. Every game is televised, every game is about the Red Sox and Yankees. When you're on the other side, it's like enough already. But now that I'm in it, there's nothing better. I'm ecstatic to be a part of it and last night was so much fun."
On the mend
Xander Bogaerts was out of the lineup on Friday and available off the bench if needed. The shortstop is still day to day after getting plunked on the right hand by a 99.1-mph fastball on Tuesday.
"I just want to make sure that it's right," Bogaerts said after Boston's win Thursday. "I know that this is a big series. Obviously, we had a good game [Thursday] -- a lot of offense, good pitching. It was fun to see it. Obviously, I want to be out there. But I think I should be back whenever it's right to help out the team again."
Pomeranz available in bullpen
Thomas Pomeranz is available out of the bullpen for the Red Sox this weekend, but he still remains the likely starter against the Blue Jays in Toronto on Tuesday. The southpaw has struggled while taking three consecutive losses. He gave up two runs on four hits with four walks and three strikeouts over five innings against the Phillies this past Tuesday.