HOUSTON -- After third baseman Eduardo Nunez legged out an infield single in the top of the fourth inning of the Red Sox's 8-2 win over the Astros in Tuesday's Game 3 of the American League Championship Series, Rafael Devers came on to pinch-run for him.
Nunez grimaced as he sprinted down the line at a speed of 29.6 feet per second, according to Statcast™, which was actually well above his season average of 27.5.
The pain was from a nagging right ankle injury that initially occurred in the final game of the regular season.
"I was able to run straight," said Nunez. "The hard part was moving back and forth and playing defense. I didn't say anything. I didn't want to come out of the game. But when [manager Alex Cora] saw [it bothering me], he told me, 'After you hit, you're coming out of the game. I don't want to lose you in this series. I don't want to make anything worse. I want to make sure you can go back, get treatment, make sure everything is OK and be available tomorrow.'"
Nunez also felt discomfort in that right ankle while making the thrilling final play in clinching Game 4 of the AL Division Series against the Yankees. And in the bottom of the first inning on Tuesday, he face-planted while chasing a foul ball.
And when Nunez made a misplay later in the inning on a grounder by Yuli Gurriel that should have been a double play and was instead just a force at second, he appeared to stumble just before he fielded the ball.
Nunez doesn't think the injury will impact his availability going forward in the ALCS. With righty Charlie Morton starting Game 4 for Houston, Cora will likely give Devers the start at third.
Nunez has had a tough ALCS in the field, making three misplays in his two starts.
In the bottom of the fifth, with Boston leading, 2-1, and Jose Altuve on first following a walk, Devers was unable to corral Alex Bregman's shot down the third-base line, and it went for a game-tying RBI double.