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Red Sox closer Tanner Houck placed on injured list with back issue

Tanner Houck earned a pair of saves in his last two appearances last week in Houston.Bob Levey/Getty

The Sox did not acquire a bullpen arm at the trade deadline.

Now, the team will be without one of its most valued relievers as the team placed closer Tanner Houck on the 15-day IL with lower back inflammation, retroactive to Aug. 6.

“I’ve been dealing with it for a little while now. Just kind of showing up every day, continuing to work on it. Just kind of reached that point,” Houck said after the Sox’ 9-7 loss to the Braves Tuesday. “Anytime you go on an IL stint it’s going to be heartbreaking no matter what.”

The Red Sox expect to have more information Wednesday.


The 26-year-old righthander last appeared in the Aug. 2 matchup against the Astros, when the righthander tossed 1⅔ shutout innings to earn his eighth save.

Since moving to the bullpen this season, Houck has a 2.70 ERA, yielding 13 earned runs in 43⅓ innings. Overall, he’s 5-4 with a 3.15 ERA.

To fill Houck’s spot, the Sox recalled righthander Kaleb Ort from Triple A Worcester.

Hosmer forced out

Eric Hosmer left the game with a left knee contusion after fouling a ball off that area in the fourth inning. He is considered day to day.

Hosmer grimaces after fouling a pitch off of his knee in the fourth inning Tuesday night at Fenway.Jim Davis/Globe Staff

Hosmer was 0 for 2 with a groundout and a strikeout in his first game at Fenway as a member of the Red Sox.

Story in the swing

Trevor Story (right wrist fracture) swung a fungo Tuesday and is progressing, the second baseman said.

Story, who was struck in the hand during a game against the Rays last month, was initially diagnosed with a right hand bruise. The Sox thought Story would be back activated off the IL at the minimum number of days (10). But when Story continued to feel pain, he decided to get a second opinion, which revealed a hairline fracture.

The Sox shut him down from swinging for a week and a half before beginning his ramp-up again.


“After getting re-evaluated and taking the time down, it was very helpful,” Story said. “[The wrist] feels good. It’s normal, which is great. We gave the bone enough rest time.”

Story said he will continue his rehab work for up to two weeks, and noted that his return to the field will largely be based on pain tolerance.

Wacha takes the hill

Michael Wacha (right shoulder inflammation) started for Portland against the Richmond Flying Squirrels at Hadlock Field. Wacha threw 79 pitches over 4⅓ innings, allowing four hits and two runs, with two walks and five strikeouts. There’s a strong possibility Wacha will rejoin the Sox soon. Long after Wacha left the game, Portland rallied for a 5-4 victory, the winning run coming home on Alex Binelas’s single in the 10th . . . Tommy Pham played his first game at Fenway as a member of the Red Sox. Prior to the game, the new Sox left fielder could not tame his excitement. “I’ve seen it on the opposite side as a visitor,” said Pham, who homered in the third. “But the love that they give their team is different. I’m ready to experience it. One thing I learned, man, is every team loves their fans. It’s just that there’s a few teams that might love their fans a little bit more.” … The Red Sox signed righthanded reliever Jeurys Familia to a minor league deal. Familia had a 6.09 ERA in 38 appearances for the Phillies this year before he was designated for assignment.


Julian McWilliams can be reached at julian.mcwilliams@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @byJulianMack.