fb-pixel Skip to main content
RED SOX NOTEBOOK

Rajai Davis staying sharp for the playoffs

Rajai Davis has appeared in 18 postseason games in his career.maddie meyer/Getty Images

The Red Sox obtained Rajai Davis from the Oakland Athletics on Aug. 23 and he was in the lineup two days later. Because Jackie Bradley Jr. was injured at the time, Davis started five games in a row.

Then he essentially disappeared, appearing in only eight games this month, all off the bench, before starting in right field on Wednesday night.

Davis was 2 for 4 with a double, a stolen base, an RBI, and two runs scored, contributing significantly to a 10-7 victory against the Toronto Blue Jays.

The playing time was the result of a chat Davis had with manager John Farrell. To be prepared for the postseason, he needed to get back on the field.

Advertisement



“It went into some conversation of late with him,” the manager said. “The inactivity has been there. He’s not been a forgotten guy. In these final games it was important to get him at that game speed.”

The Sox traded for Davis to use him as pinch runner in the playoffs, a very specific role. But running the bases is not something that can be practiced off to the side.

“Game action makes a difference. You need it for your timing,” Davis said. “That’s not something you can get on your own. It’s important to be out there on the dirt.”

Davis has played in 18 postseason games. He’s familiar with the atmosphere and expectations and how best to deal with those. When the time comes, he’ll be ready.

“I feel good. It’s a blessing to be around this team and get to know these guys,” Davis said. “I’m excited to see what comes.”

Davis has 29 stolen bases in 36 attempts this season, tied for fourth in the American League through Wednesday. Not bad for a player who turns 37 on Oct. 19.

Advertisement



“I know my body pretty well at this point and what I need to do to stay ready,” Davis said. “Once you get on the field, your experience helps, too.”

Nunez on the run

Eduardo Nunez did a series of sprints on the outfield grass before Thursday’s game. But he is not yet cleared to play.

Nunez sprained his right knee on Sept. 9 and missed 12 games before starting on Monday. He reinjured his knee in the third inning of that game and has not played since.

“He’s still injured,” Farrell said. “He went through another series of workouts with some increased running, swung in the cage, took some BP, [and] threw.

“But we’ve still got some progressive steps to get to where he’d be back in a game.”

Farrell said Nunez would not have to play again in the regular season to be included on the postseason roster. The Sox could set up a simulated game instead.

Nunez has hit .321 with an .892 OPS for the Sox in 38 games.

Turn him loose

David Price has pitched three times in relief since coming off the disabled list. His last two appearances came after four days of rest, but Farrell said the lefthander is cleared to pitch more often if needed.

“Even after outings of two innings, he’s bounced back, I think, relatively quick given the time that he’s missed,” the manager said. “To me, he has no restrictions.”

Price has worked six scoreless innings in relief, allowing three hits with one walk and nine strikeouts. His fastball was 95-97 miles per hour on Wednesday when he retired all four batters he faced.

Advertisement



The uptick was somewhat expected because Price knew he would pitch no more than three innings. But it also speaks to the health of his elbow.

“All positive signs,” Farrell said. Lin heads home

Tzu-Wei Lin will miss the final three games of the season. The infielder was given permission to travel back to Taiwan for the birth of his first child. Lin pinch hit in the eighth inning of Thursday’s 12-2 loss against the Astros and struck out. The 23-year-old appeared in 25 games this season and hit .268.

Outlet pass

Celtics forward Gordon Hayward threw out the first pitch. It was a little high but Deven Marrero hauled it in . . . Former Red Sox player John McDonald is among the advance scouts Cleveland has following the series . . . The Division 2 state champion baseball team from Greater New Bedford Voc-Tech was introduced before the game . . . Donald Hunnicutt of West Kingston, R.I., attended the game with his son, James, and was recognized on the scoreboard in the fifth inning. Hunnicutt, 92, served in the US Navy for 24 years during World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. The Dream Foundation arranged the trip.


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