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Bogaerts returns with 3 hits, dazzling play on D

Shortstop activated from disabled list before game; Holt lands on DL
MLB.com @IanMBrowne

BOSTON -- In case you thought a short stint on the disabled list was going to cool off Xander Bogaerts, the shortstop demonstrated emphatically in his return to action Friday night that would not be the case.

Bogaerts continued his red-hot start to the season by going 3-for-4 with a double in the Red Sox's 4-3 loss to the Rays to raise his average to .405.

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BOSTON -- In case you thought a short stint on the disabled list was going to cool off Xander Bogaerts, the shortstop demonstrated emphatically in his return to action Friday night that would not be the case.

Bogaerts continued his red-hot start to the season by going 3-for-4 with a double in the Red Sox's 4-3 loss to the Rays to raise his average to .405.

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"I feel good. I mean, I think my timing is getting there," said Bogaerts. "I tracked a lot of pitches over that road trip, and I think that helped me out a lot, especially with the timing and recognizing pitches and stuff like that."

Bogaerts had been recovering from a small fracture of the talus bone in his left ankle.

In Friday's return, Bogaerts showed mobility at the plate by legging out an infield hit in the ninth. And he showed range in the field, making a diving stop in the hole against Wilson Ramos in the eighth and throwing out the slow-footed catcher from his knees.

Tweet from @RedSox: Getting the job done. pic.twitter.com/JyIFA50bHf

Though Bogaerts feels well enough to play, he can still feel the injury that he sustained on April 8 while sliding into the visitors' dugout to retrieve a throw.

"Feels like a needle, a couple of needles, but it feels good enough to play," said Bogaerts. "But it feels like a couple of needles pinching, depending on the movement."

To make room for Bogaerts, Brock Holt was placed on the 10-day disabled list due to a left hamstring strain sustained Thursday night in Toronto.

Video: BOS@TOR: Holt exits with hamstring tightness in 3rd

While Red Sox manager Alex Cora is pleased to have Bogaerts back, he will be careful not to overextend him at first.

"I'm going to take care of him. We'll play it kind of like a catcher the first few days. Sunday off most likely, Wednesday off, then the last day in Texas," said Cora.

The injury to Holt requires a wait-and-see approach in terms of recovery time, and the Red Sox had little choice but to put him on the DL.

"I hate to [just] say he'll be ready in eight days or six days or seven days. But he won't be ready the next few days," said Cora. "And where we're at, with Xander coming back, we know about Eduardo [Nunez] giving off-days for [Rafael] Devers. It's good for him. I've been saying all along, I need these guys to be close to 100 percent, so [Holt will] get his time to recover, and we'll keep [Tzu-Wei] Lin. He's going to help us out."

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

Boston Red Sox, Xander Bogaerts