BOSTON -- While the Red Sox were able to put together their biggest comeback on the young season Sunday in an 8-7 win over the Rays, they were forced to do so without their hottest hitter, Xander Bogaerts, who was helped off the field in the top of the seventh inning with a left ankle injury after momentarily saving a run from crossing the plate.
Following the game, manager Alex Cora stated that the club will have a better grasp of the magnitude of his shortstop's injury after further evaluations on Monday.
The injury occured when Tampa Bay pinch-hitter Joey Wendle lifted a ball off the Green Monster, which was misplayed on the carom by J.D. Martinez.
The subsequent throw into the infield went awry, allowing Daniel Robertson to come around from first base while Wendle bounded toward third and the ball rolled toward the Rays' dugout.
Bogaerts, in an effort to keep Wendle at third, slid toward the dugout's open stairwell and stopped the ball's momentum before an extra base could be rewarded. However, the shortstop landed on the hard stairs, then slowly walked back to his position before hunching over in pain. At that point he was removed from the game, requiring assistance from the training staff as he limped back to the dugout.
"I just asked him and he doesn't know if it was when he slid or when he landed," said Cora.
The Rays would challenge the play, believing Bogaerts touched the ball while still in the field of play, but replay showed the original call to be correct, though Wendle would eventually come around to score.
"I had no idea what he did," said Rays manager Kevin Cash, who was standing on the stairs as Bogaerts made the play. "Awkward play. He made a heck of a play keeping the ball in."
Bogaerts, on the heels of a six-RBI game Saturday, entered the day as Boston's hottest hitter on the season. He's batting .368 with nine RBIs. He was replaced in the game by Brock Holt, who made the final play of the game on an Adeiny Hechavarria groundout.
"It's obviously big if it's a big injury," said Holt. "I'm not sure if it is or not. He's been our best player to this point, so we'll definitely miss him. Hopefully, everything turns out OK. We'll find out sooner rather than later."