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Cora: Mookie (side) likely to return Thursday

'If these games were in September, he'd be playing'
MLB.com @IanMBrowne

BOSTON -- Left side tightness kept Red Sox star right fielder Mookie Betts out of the starting lineup for a third straight day on Tuesday night against the Blue Jays, and the expectation is that Betts won't return until Boston's four-game series in Houston, which starts on Thursday.

"He went out, he ran, but we're staying away from him today," Red Sox manager Alex Cora said. "Most likely tomorrow, too, with the day game, but he's doing better. As you guys know, it's an area that you have to make sure he's ready to roll. But he's doing more stuff today. He was in the gym and he moved around, so we feel comfortable. If these games were in September, he'd be playing, but we've got to be smart about it."

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BOSTON -- Left side tightness kept Red Sox star right fielder Mookie Betts out of the starting lineup for a third straight day on Tuesday night against the Blue Jays, and the expectation is that Betts won't return until Boston's four-game series in Houston, which starts on Thursday.

"He went out, he ran, but we're staying away from him today," Red Sox manager Alex Cora said. "Most likely tomorrow, too, with the day game, but he's doing better. As you guys know, it's an area that you have to make sure he's ready to roll. But he's doing more stuff today. He was in the gym and he moved around, so we feel comfortable. If these games were in September, he'd be playing, but we've got to be smart about it."

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Betts has been one of the best players in the Major Leagues this season, and the Red Sox don't want him to do anything to jeopardize his health, which is why they aren't rushing him back.

The right fielder has a slash line of .359/.437/.750 with 17 homers and 37 RBIs.

Will Betts start the opener of the four-game series against the Astros?

"If he's feeling better, yeah," Cora said. "If he keeps improving. Thursday [or] Friday."

Red Sox agree to terms with veteran bat
The Red Sox have added an experienced hitter to the organization by agreeing to terms with Adam Lind on a Minor League deal. Lind is expected to report to Triple-A Pawtucket once the contract is official.

Though the Red Sox currently don't have a spot for the 34-year-old first baseman -- who was most recently in the Yankees organization -- he serves as good protection in the event there is an injury.

Lind had a strong 2017 season with the Nationals, slashing .303/.362/.513 with 14 homers and 59 RBIs in 301 at-bats. A left-handed hitter, Lind has 200 homers in his career and an OPS of .795.

Mitch Moreland, who is also left-handed, is Boston's starting first baseman. Blake Swihart and Brock Holt are currently reserve options for the Red Sox at first. J.D. Martinez is the designated hitter.

Price check
Lefty David Price made some sarcastic comments to the media after his win against the Blue Jays on Monday that got a lot of play on talk radio and social media over the last 24 hours.

Price made the comments when asked if a line drive he took off the left forearm and chest area in the first inning bothered him for the remainder of his start.

Video: TOR@BOS: Price knocks down a comebacker, gets the out

"You know me, I'm the softest guy in this clubhouse," Price said. "If that bothered me, I would have been out of the game. I'm soft. It wasn't painful. I'm fine. If it was painful, I would have come out. It's not a joke. I'm soft. No, I'm soft. It's cold, can't pitch. My hands tingling, can't do my job. That's it."

Price was obviously bothered by external criticism that took place when he exited an outing against the Yankees on April 11 due to numbness in his fingers and when he missed a start in New York on May 9 due to a diagnosis of mild carpal tunnel syndrome.

Cora said he wasn't bothered by Price's cryptic comments.

"I actually laughed at it. Sometimes I'm [also] sarcastic. You guys know it," Cora said. "He took a line drive yesterday off the chest or whatever and he kept pitching. ... He shows up every five days. He competes. Since Day 1 I saw the bullpens and what he does to prepare every day. If that's soft, give me five soft guys every day. Because he can pitch."

Lynn to represent Red Sox at Draft
In 1973, the Red Sox drafted center fielder Fred Lynn in the second round. He went on to win the American League Most Valuable Player Award in 1975, and was one of the best players on the Sox until he was traded following the '80 season. Lynn will represent his original team at the 2018 Draft, which starts on June 4.

Edgar Perez, an area scout in Puerto Rico, will also represent the Red Sox.

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.

Boston Red Sox, Mookie Betts