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Red Sox show support for Kimbrel's daughter

Special to MLB.com

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The Red Sox wore red warm-up T-shirts before Sunday's 7-3 Grapefruit League loss to the split-squad Orioles that read "We Are #LydiaStrong" in support of closer Craig Kimbrel and his 4-month-old daughter, Lydia Joy, who recently underwent her second heart procedure at Massachusetts General Hospital.

"We keep praying. Our thoughts are with the Kimbrel family," Red Sox manager Alex Cora said. "He has the support not only of this organization, but you guys [the media], the fans, and we're pulling for her. She's part of the family. I told him from the get-go, 'This is a very exclusive fraternity. … We got to take care of each other, and we're doing that.'"

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FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The Red Sox wore red warm-up T-shirts before Sunday's 7-3 Grapefruit League loss to the split-squad Orioles that read "We Are #LydiaStrong" in support of closer Craig Kimbrel and his 4-month-old daughter, Lydia Joy, who recently underwent her second heart procedure at Massachusetts General Hospital.

"We keep praying. Our thoughts are with the Kimbrel family," Red Sox manager Alex Cora said. "He has the support not only of this organization, but you guys [the media], the fans, and we're pulling for her. She's part of the family. I told him from the get-go, 'This is a very exclusive fraternity. … We got to take care of each other, and we're doing that.'"

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Cora said Lydia is doing better. He has been in touch with Kimbrel, who has been working out in the Boston area. There is no timetable yet for Kimbrel's return to the team.

"No, not right now. Like I told him, 'Take care of what you've got to take care of,'" Cora said. "'We understand.'"

Tweet from @RedSox: Today we���re wearing #LydiaStrong shirts as we continue to keep the Kimbrel family and their daughter, Lydia, in our thoughts and prayers. pic.twitter.com/eb2pifQGBh

Lydia, who was born Nov. 3 with heart ailments, underwent her first surgery when she was just 4 days old.

"She's doing great," Kimbrel said earlier in camp. "Doctors have been amazing. They've been very encouraging. And she's growing fine. So it's tough to be away, especially being so hands-on, but there's a plan for everything and you can't change it. Just have to take it for what it is."

In two seasons with the Red Sox, Kimbrel has made 124 appearances, spanning 122 innings, and recorded 66 saves and a 2.29 ERA, twice being selected as an All-Star. He was named the 2017 Mariano Rivera American League Reliever of the Year Award winner, recording 35 saves, 126 strikeouts and a 1.43 ERA in 67 appearances.

Kimbrel can be a free agent at the end of this season, but Lydia's situation has given her dad a new perspective on life and baseball.

"I'm just going to take each day for what it is," Kimbrel had said. "If we're talking about if I'm coming back here next year or if I'm going somewhere else, I mean, next year is really the time to talk about that. Like I said, right now I'm a Boston Red Sox and I'm happy to be a Boston Red Sox, and I'm looking forward to this year."

Maureen Mullen is a contributor to MLB.com.

Boston Red Sox, Craig Kimbrel