BOSTON -- After an eventful first inning that saw Rick Porcello plunk Brett Gardner and Alex Cora experience his first career ejection as a manager, Red Sox second baseman Ian Kinsler was removed from the 4-1 win over the Yankees on Friday with left hamstring tightness to start the second. Kinsler was placed on the 10-day DL Saturday, and the Red Sox called up Tony Renda from Triple-A Pawtucket.
Mookie Betts, who came into the big leagues as an infielder, took over at second base for the first time since 2014. Mitch Moreland entered the game at first base and Steve Pearce, who hit his fourth homer in two games, moved from first to right field.
"It was like a dream come true," Betts said of patrolling second base again. "I think it's been since 2014 since I've been in the infield. That's why I take my ground balls and all that area work, just in case."
After Cora was ejected for arguing with home-plate umpire Adam Hamari about warnings being issued in response to Luis Severino throwing up and in to Betts, the decision to play Betts at second belonged to bench coach Ron Roenicke. Betts said he asked Roenicke if he could play second, and after Roenicke agreed, the multi-faceted Betts jogged out there before anyone could stop him.
"He takes ground balls every third or fourth day. ... I was comfortable with it. We talked about it in Spring Training," Roenicke said. "He played a few years there, and was basically moved out because of [Dustin] Pedroia. The coaches that had him in the Minor Leagues are on our staff now, and they were comfortable with it."
Kinsler slid hard into second on a stolen base and appeared to be wincing as he scored a run on Eduardo Nunez's single.
"When I was coming around third, it grabbed me a little bit," Kinsler said. "Ten days is probably the worst-case scenario. Take it day by day."
Cora said he also doesn't think it should take longer than the allotted 10 days for Kinsler to recover.
"We don't feel it's that bad," Cora said. "Something that's not going to take that long if we decide to go [the DL] route. But it might be needed, because his legs are very important to what he does on a nightly basis."