Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
news

MLB News

Nunez homers in return; Lin placed on IL

@Russ_Dorsey1
May 4, 2019

CHICAGO -- The Red Sox took a step toward getting back to full strength on the health front, as utility man Eduardo Núñez was reinstated from the 10-day injured list prior to Saturday’s 15-2 win over the Chicago White Sox and was in the lineup at second base. Núñez batted

CHICAGO -- The Red Sox took a step toward getting back to full strength on the health front, as utility man Eduardo Núñez was reinstated from the 10-day injured list prior to Saturday’s 15-2 win over the Chicago White Sox and was in the lineup at second base.

Núñez batted eighth and Michael Chavis, who has played well since being called up, played first base. In his second at-bat, Núñez hit a two-run home run as part of a nine-run third inning.

Núñez said before Saturday’s game in Chicago that he tried to play through his mid-back strain for about a week before the team put him on the 10-day injured list on April 18.

“I’m excited. I’m excited to see [the team] play. They are playing and hitting better,” Núñez said. “I was trying different things in the beginning of the season, then my back started to hurt. But now, I’m healthy. So I can come back and do better.”

Núñez will rotate between second and third base despite Chavis and Rafael Devers swinging hot bats. Manager Alex Cora doesn’t sound concerned about finding either of them at-bats.

“Michael is doing an outstanding job, we’ll find at-bats for him. [Núñez] is back, we’ll find matchups,” Cora said prior to Saturday’s game, during which Chavis went 4-for-6 with a pair of homers. “As always, we try to go with the best lineup on that day. We know what Michael is doing offensively, so we’ll find ways for him to get at-bats, DH him, playing first, playing second, playing third. We’ll find a way to get him in the lineup.”

With Núñez returning, the Red Sox placed utility infielder Tzu-Wei Lin on the 10-day injured list with a left knee sprain as the corresponding roster move. Lin injured his left knee during the second inning of Friday night’s 6-1 victory over the White Sox attempting to steal second base, as his left spike get caught during his slide while being thrown out. He is heading back to Boston for further testing.

Pedroia continuing to progress
Second baseman Dustin Pedroia continued the next step of his rehab stint, playing seven innings at second base at Double-A Portland on Saturday. Pedroia also went 3-for-4 with three singles before being removed from the game. The plan for Pedroia, according to Cora, is to play seven innings Sunday. Pedroia has been on the IL since April 19 with left knee discomfort.

Sale uptick in velocity sign of things to come?

Starter Chris Sale said following his outing Friday that he went back to the things that made him successful in the past, and it showed as he shut down the White Sox.

Sale, who picked up his first win of the season on Friday night, increased his average four-seam fastball velocity during the start.

The left-hander’s four-seamer averaged 93.1 mph, according to Statcast, which is higher than his season average of 92.5 mph and his highest in a start since averaging 95.5 mph vs. the New York Yankees on April 16.

“I’ve been grinding. I know it hasn’t been pretty up to this point, but you know, that’s sports. That’s baseball,” Sale said. “Sometimes you figure it out and ride that wave. Sometimes you’re out there in the middle of the ocean trying to find it.”

Russell Dorsey is a reporter/editor for MLB.com based in Chicago. Follow him on Twitter @Russ_Dorsey1.