fb-pixel;
Red Sox Notebook

Michael Chavis regroups, extends hitting streak to 11 games

Michael Chavis hits a RBI single in the second inning against the Blue Jays on Saturday.
Michael Chavis hits a RBI single in the second inning against the Blue Jays on Saturday. KATHRYN RILEY/Getty Images/Getty Images

Michael Chavis is riding the wave again, only this time it’s on the way up.

The rookie infielder extended his hit streak to 11 games with a second-inning single on Saturday, driving in a run to help the Red Sox jump out to a 5-0 lead against the Toronto Blue Jays in a game they eventually lost, 8-7.

Chavis fell into a two-week slump earlier this month, his batting average dropping from .296 to .247.

But Chavis has since adjusted to the adjustments pitchers made against him and gotten his average back to .264.

Manager Alex Cora felt that part of Chavis’s slump was a product of playing seven games against the Yankees and Rays.

Advertisement



“We faced some special fastballs. They do that to a lot of people,” Cora said.

The coaches worked with Chavis on better controlling the strike zone, understanding what the pitchers were trying to do and having the discipline not to swing.

“People will go upstairs and try to expand down. As long as you stay within your strength, you’re going to be fine,” Cora said. “He’s made some adjustments but it starts with that. Get ready early, see the ball and not try and do too much.

“He will swing and miss, we know that. But he’s been a lot better the last two weeks.”

Chavis said it was a mental game.

“Definitely. You have be prepared and understand what you can and can’t do,” he said. “I feel like I’m swinging at better pitches.”

Chavis was considered a short-term addition when he was called up on April 19, the Sox needing help at the time because of injuries. But now he’s an important part of a team playing well.

“He’s a really good player right now,” Cora said. “He can play first and second, I think that’s the most important thing. He gives you a quality at-bat. He’s a threat. Good base runner, too.

Advertisement



“From only [expected to be] here 10 days and have all these at-bats and playing a big role for the team, it’s cool to see.”

London calling

The Red Sox held a team meeting before the game to discuss their trip to London to play the Yankees next weekend. There was a lengthy list of topics.

“Logistics, tickets, dress code, all the activities that we have over there,” Cora said. “At the end, two meaningful games. Let’s not forget that.”

As for the roster, the teams will be allowed to carry an extra position player for the two games. Even with two days off prior to the series and a day off afterward, how the bullpen is configured will be carefully considered.

“It’s something we have to talk about, obviously,” Cora said. “Where we’re going to play comes into play, too. The dimensions are not great. It is what it is. We still have to pitch but we have to be smart, too.

“We’ve been going over this trip for a while.”

London Stadium will be only 385 feet to center and 330 feet down the lines.

Hembree progressing

Righthanded reliever Heath Hembree, on the injured list with an elbow strain, threw in the bullpen before the game and said he felt fine.

“Just getting the feel back,” Hembree said. “It went fine.”

Hembree is eligible to return but the plan is to have him pitch an inning for Triple A Pawtucket on Monday. If that goes well, he would be activated.

Advertisement



Hembree had nine consecutive scoreless appearances before he went on the injured list.

“One game should be fine,” Hembree said. “I feel like I’m close.”

Double the fun

Xander Bogaerts matched an American League mark by recording a double for seven consecutive games. It came in the ninth inning and drove in a run . . . Rafael Devers was out of the lineup for a second consecutive game with tightness in his right hamstring but pinch hit in the ninth and struck out. He should return to the lineup Sunday or Monday. “We don’t feel it’s going to take long,” Cora said. Eduardo Nunez started at third base . . . Steve Pearce was 0 for 4 with two strikeouts for Triple A Pawtucket. He is 3 for 21 on his rehab assignment. Pearce has been out since June 1 with a back strain. Steven Wright threw two scoreless innings in the game. He has allowed two earned runs over 9⅔ innings as he prepares to return from an 80-game suspension for PED use. Wright is eligible to return Tuesday . . . Mitch Moreland has started baseball workouts but is not close to a rehab assignment. He has been out since June 8 with a right quad strain.


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