PHILADELPHIA — The Red Sox are starting to run out of middle infielders.
Christian Arroyo is the latest to go down as he was placed on the injured list Sunday with a strained right hamstring. Bobby Dalbec was recalled from Triple A Worcester.
Arroyo was 2 for 4 in Saturday night’s 7-4 victory against the Phillies, but the decision was made to shut him down to deal with what has become a lingering injury.
“It was pretty sore,” Arroyo said. “Nothing abnormal, but it got to the point where I can’t keep doing this to the team. I tried everything I could.”
Arroyo, who has been on the injured list five times since the start of the 2021 season, said the injury limited his range defensively and was a concern when he ran the bases.
“It just sucks,” he said. “But I think we made the best decision as a group. Hopefully a few days will make a difference and I can start up again.”
Arroyo joins Adalberto Mondesí (left knee), Trevor Story (right elbow), and Yu Chang (left wrist) as middle infielders on the injured list.
Arroyo hopes to return in 10 days, but the others are not expected back any time soon.
Kiké Hernández started at shortstop with rookie Enmanuel Valdez at second base on Sunday in a 6-1 loss against the Phillies. Their only backup was Dalbec, a corner infielder who has played parts of four games at shortstop and three at second base in his major league career.
Dalbec struck out as a pinch hitter in the eighth and played one inning at second.
“We’ll see how we use Bobby. I do believe he can make the routine play at second and short,” manager Alex Cora said.
Arroyo was a starter to open the season but has become more of a platoon player with Valdez in the lineup against righthanded pitchers.
The Sox have lefthanded-hitting middle infielder David Hamilton on the 40-man roster. He is hitting .311 with a .955 OPS and 20 stolen bases for Worcester. But the Sox preferred a righthanded hitter in Dalbec.
“[Hamilton] is hitting the ball hard. Bat speed is a lot better than last year,” Cora said. “We’re very pleased with the way he’s going about it.”
Red Sox righthander Kutter Crawford and Phillies lefthander Matt Strahm had a little fun Saturday with a national anthem standoff.
For the uninitiated, that’s when a player from each team remains at attention on the field after the anthem ends. The loser is whomever gives in first before the game starts.
In this case, both players were ejected after being warned.
“That was a first for me,” Crawford said.
It didn’t necessarily matter for Crawford, who is on the injured list. Strahm, who pitched two innings on Sunday, is on the active roster.
According to Cora, a player on the injured list receives a larger fine for being ejected.
“He’ll get crushed,” the manager predicted.
Cora hinted that the well-compensated Chris Sale would take care of the fine for Crawford. Both played at Florida Gulf Coast University.
“You have good sources,” Sale said.
Remembering Vida Blue
The death of six-time All-Star Vida Blue on Sunday at the age of 73 was a reminder of one of the most notable regular-season games in Fenway Park history.
On May 28, 1971, the first-place Athletics and first-place Red Sox met with their respective aces on the mound. Blue was 10-1 with a 1.02 ERA and Sonny Siebert 8-0 with a 1.62 ERA.
In front of a sellout crowd of 35,712, the Sox came away with a 4-3 victory.
Reggie Jackson homered off Siebert in the first inning but Rico Petrocelli hit a two-run homer to center in the bottom of the inning and the Sox held on. Petrocelli also homered in the sixth.
Blue allowed four runs over 7⅔ innings. He finished that season 24-8 with a 1.82 ERA and 301 strikeouts over 39 starts and 312 innings. He won the Cy Young and Most Valuable Player Awards.
Masataka Yoshida still streaking
Masataka Yoshida singled in the first inning to extend his hitting streak to 16 games. He was then picked off for the second time this season. Yoshida was 2 for 4 and is 28 for 63 (.438) in his streak … Raimel Tapia hit third for the second time in his eight-year career and was 1 for 4 … Cora said “there’s a good chance” lefthander James Paxton will make his long-awaited Red Sox debut against the Cardinals during the homestand that starts Friday … The Phillies drew 131,823 fans for the series, selling out two of the three games … Marcelo Mayer is 16 for 31 with nine extra-base hits and 12 RBIs in his last six games for High A Greenville. The 20-year-old shortstop, who was the fourth pick of the 2021 draft, is hitting .337 with a .996 OPS. Mayer was 4 for 4 with two doubles and a homer in a 7-3 victory against Asheville on Sunday.