fb-pixel Skip to main content

Koji Uehara to miss a few games after right wrist scare

Red Sox closer Koji Uehara made the throw to first to end Friday’s game, but only after being struck on the right wrist by Ian Kinsler’s line drive.
Red Sox closer Koji Uehara made the throw to first to end Friday’s game, but only after being struck on the right wrist by Ian Kinsler’s line drive.Rick Osentoski/USA TODAY Sports

DETROIT — Closer Koji Uehara will be unavailable until at least Tuesday after being struck on the right wrist by a line drive during the final play of the Red Sox' victory Friday in Detroit.

"Sore, unavailable. Swelling is still there a little bit, not to the extent it was [Friday] night," manager John Farrell said prior to the Red Sox' 7-6 loss Saturday. "He's obviously in much better spirits. When his first availability will be is to be determined yet."

With the Red Sox off Monday, Uehara will have some time to recover from what at first looked like a significant injury.


Uehara came into a 7-2 game in the ninth inning with one out and the bases loaded. He struck out Jose Iglesias before Ian Kinsler hit a line drive up the middle.

The ball struck Uehara on the inside of his wrist, but he was able to make a throw to first to end the game and earn his 25th save of the season.

X-rays were negative Friday, but Uehara left Comerica Park in a brace.

"I was amazed he was able to complete the play given the impact," Farrell said. "Natural instinctive reaction . . . Not too many times do you see a guy go down in a heap on the mound after he completes a save."

Said Uehara: "I was trying to win the Gold Glove."

Uehara is in the middle of one of his best runs with the Red Sox. He has allowed one run on seven hits over 17 innings in his last 17 appearances. Uehara, who has struck out 21 in that stretch, has averaged 11.5 strikeouts per nine innings in his three seasons with the Red Sox.

Uehara has a remarkable 1.86 earned run average in those 180 appearances. The 40-year-old righthander has the lowest ERA of any Red Sox pitcher with at least 175 career innings.

Betts gets closer

Mookie Betts, on the disabled list with a concussion since July 29, worked out on the field in Detroit and is set to play Sunday for Double A Portland at Akron.

Barring any setback, Betts will rejoin the Red Sox in Miami and be activated Tuesday.


Going in the other direction was Hanley Ramirez, scratched from the lineup after batting practice. He has a sore left foot, the result of a foul ball during Friday's game. X-rays were negative and he is questionable for Sunday.

Marrero returns

The Sox recalled infielder Deven Marrero from Triple A Pawtucket. He took the roster spot that opened when Mike Napoli was traded to Texas on Friday. Marrero was 1 for 7 over five games in an earlier stint with the Red Sox. The Sox wanted infield depth because Pablo Sandoval was playing with a jammed left thumb.

"When Deven comes here, it's like we added two players. It frees up Brock [Holt] to play anywhere all over the field," Farrell said.

Marrero ran for David Ortiz with two outs in the ninth, but was stranded when Pablo Sandoval struck out.

Careful with Tazawa

With the Sox out of contention, they are being judicious with their use of Junichi Tazawa.

The 29-year-old righthanded reliever has appeared in 203 games over the last three seasons, counting the postseason.

Only Trevor Rosenthal and Seth Maness of the Cardinals, each with 209, have appeared in more games than Tazawa.

"Where we are right now, probably going to bring him in games where we're either tied or ahead. Not to say we wouldn't use down a run, but we've got an opportunity to manage his usage a little bit more," Farrell said.

"He's a valuable guy, obviously. He's a hell of a late-inning reliever. We just want to be aware of the workload this year and how much we expose him going forward."


Tazawa (2-5) came in to start the seventh Saturday, but couldn't hold a 6-5 lead. With two outs, Ian Kinsler singled and Victor Martinez hit a long home run to right.

The Sox also will be careful with rookie starters Henry Owens and Eduardo Rodriguez.

Owens has thrown 127 innings this season. He reached 159 innings last season and the Sox likely would not want him to surpass approximately 185 innings.

Rodriguez has thrown 121 innings. He threw 120 last season and a career-high 145 in 2013. The Sox would probably seek to limit him to 175 innings or so.

But don't expect too many changes to the Red Sox rotation barring injuries. There is little available at Triple A. Pawtucket's rotation for the moment is Zeke Spruill, Matt Barnes, William Cuevas, Keith Couch, and Shawn Haviland.

Of that group, only Barnes is on the 40-man roster and he has pitched in relief most of the season.

Cuevas, 24, was recently promoted from Double A Portland. Spruill, who was taken off the 40-man roster earlier this season, has been used mostly in relief. Couch is 4-10 with a 6.42 ERA.

Haviland, who started Saturday, began the season in the White Sox organization then was sold to the Rockies on July 22. The righthander did not pitch for Colorado before being obtained by the Red Sox. The 29-year-old Connecticut native played at Harvard and now lives in Boston.

Celebs in Pawtucket

Pawtucket will host the Jeffrey Osborne Celebrity All-Star Softball Classic at 12:05 p.m. on Monday.

A team headed by basketball Hall of Famers Magic Johnson and James Worthy will face a Patriots alumni team featuring Steve Grogan, Ty Law, and Pete Brock. Others expected to attend the charity event include Smokey Robinson, Chris Tucker, George Lopez, and Cedric the Entertainer.


Tickets are $13 or $9 and are available at pawsox.com or by calling (401) 724-7300.

Porcello progressing

Rick Porcello, who is on the disabled list with a triceps strain, threw in the bullpen before the game and is scheduled to throw again Tuesday. He could start a minor league rehabilitation assignment Friday . . . Second baseman Dustin Pedroia, out with a strained right hamstring, has not yet progressed to on-field work. That should come next week . . . Lefthanded reliever Craig Breslow turned 35 on Saturday.

Assistant hitting coach Victor Rodriguez missed the game to attend his son's wedding.

Peter Abraham can be reached at pabraham@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @PeteAbe.