Red Sox third baseman Rafael Devers has inflammation in his left shoulder and it affects him both offensively and defensively.
BOSTON — Rafael Devers is the latest addition to Boston’s disabled list, a list that is up to nine different players and has cost the team some 597 roster games.
The Sox are actually doing better than last year when their players missed 1,336 games on the DL.
Devers has inflammation in his left shoulder and it affects him both offensively and defensively, according to Alex Cora. The injury dates from June 17 in Seattle when Devers dove back into first base, hands first, to avoid being doubled off on a liner by Brock Holt.
“Something I really appreciate,” Cora said, “is he never asked out of the lineup,” adding, “He’s a guy who is just 21 and never used it as an excuse. I’m proud of him.”
Devers’ defensive play this year, while not good, has held steady throughout the injury. His offense actually improved after June 17. Devers was hitting .235 at the end of that day and hit .264 between then and Tuesday night, his most recent game.
Since the disabled list covers calendar days and not games, Devers is not likely to miss that many games because of the four-day All-Star break. He expects to be back in the lineup on July 21 in Detroit.
Through interpreter Daveson Perez, Devers said he initially felt only slight discomfort after the play in Seattle but the soreness in his shoulder kept getting worse. It particularly hurts when he swings.
The Sox had an MRI done on the shoulder and it showed no structural issues, just inflammation.
Porcello seeks 12th win
Rick Porcello goes after his 12th win of the season at 7:10 p.m. on Friday and will be opposed by Blue Jays rookie Ryan Borucki. Porcello is 11-3 with a 3.58 earned run average this season while Borucki has pitched well in three major starts without a win to show for his efforts. The lefty is 0-1 with a 2.25 ERA.
Porcello is 3-0 with a 3.69 ERA in his last five starts. He could be 5-0 in those games as he has been victimized by blown saves by Matt Barnes and Joe Kelly. Porcello has seen the Blue Jays a lot since joining the Red Sox and is 8-3 in 15 starts against them in a Boston uniform.
That includes a 6-1 record at Fenway Park.
Bases loaded production
The Red Sox’ long, ugly slump while batting with the bases loaded is ancient history and they were batting a robust .329 with the bases full after 94 games. That included a 0-for-24 drought from May 3 through June 12.
Boston’s recent results have been particularly excellent.
Beginning with Devers’ grand slam at Yankee Stadium on June 30, Red Sox batters are 7-for-9 (.778) with the bases loaded and have produced 19 runs in 13 plate appearances in that span. For the season, Boston hitters have 77 RBIs in 99 plate appearances, an excellent ratio.
Unsurprisingly, J.D. Martinez has been the team’s best bases-loaded hitter at 5-for-7 (.714) with 13 RBIs. Xander Bogaerts is 4-for-7 (.571) with 14 RBIs. The shortstop has historically been very good with the bases loaded as his .328 career average shows.
He has 65 RBIs in 76 plate appearances and has had eight bases-clearing hits in his career. That includes a rare three-run single on July 7, 2015.
PawSox start for Pomeranz
Drew Pomeranz is scheduled to start for the Pawtucket Red Sox tonight. He will be his third rehab start since being sent to Triple A recovering from tendinitis in his left biceps.
He has not been sharp, allowing six earned runs in 5 2/3 innings. That includes four home runs allowed. The Sox are looking for Pomeranz to find some consistency with mechanics. He has been lacking that both at the major and minor league levels this season.
Honoring a hero
Prior to Thursday’s game, the Red Sox honored late U.S. Navy Seaman Nicholas J. Murphy.
Murphy, 19, was killed in a 2016 car accident in Florida while saving the life of a friend and fellow sailor. He was in training to become a Navy SEAL and was named a 2017 American Red Cross Heartland Hero.
Murphy, a lifelong Boston fan, was remembered in a pregame ceremony. His older brother, Grant, threw out a ceremonial first pitch. Murphy’s mother, Theresa (Brodeur) Murphy, is a Rhode Island native.
Visit nickmurphyfoundation.org for more on his story and legacy.
Cora was asked before the game if hitting was contagious. “I never got sick offensively,” he replied, “and I was on some pretty good offensive teams.” ...
Tonight will be Boston’s 11th game on Friday the 13th since 2007. They are 6-4 in the previous 10, but 6-1 in the last seven. It is the Sox’ second this season. They beat the Orioles at Fenway Park on Friday, April 13.
— Bill Ballou writes for the Worcester Telegram & Gazette of GateHouse Media.