Boston’s Middlebrooks nursing sore right hand

Boston Red Sox right fielder Shane Victorino (right) is congratulated by third baseman Will Middlebrooks (16) following their team's win over the Texas Rangers 5-2 at Globe Life Park in Arlington.
Jim Cowsert | USA Today Sports
Boston Red Sox right fielder Shane Victorino (right) is congratulated by third baseman Will Middlebrooks (16) following their team's win over the Texas Rangers 5-2 at Globe Life Park in Arlington.
Posted May 12, 2014, at 5:18 p.m.

ARLINGTON, Texas — Boston Red Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks was a late scratch in a 5-2 victory over Texas Sunday because of soreness in his right hand.

Middlebrooks was hit by a pitch by Texas reliever Justin Germano on Saturday night. Much like he did last week after jamming his shoulder in a game against Oakland, Middlebrooks told reporters after the game that he was fine.

In fact, he stayed in to finish Boston’s 8-3 win.

“Today was as much precaution as anything,” Boston manager John Farrell said. “We’ll take a look on Tuesday (when Boston travels to Minnesota for a three-game series).”

The Red Sox might be using caution considering that Middlebrooks’ rookie season in 2012 was interrupted by a broken right wrist. He also missed time earlier this season with a DL stint while a calf strain healed.

The third baseman entered play Sunday hitting .211.

Replacing him at third on Sunday was Jonathan Herrera, who went 0-for-4 with a strikeout.

The Red Sox begin a three-game series in Minnesota at 8 p.m. Tuesday when they will send left-hander Felix Doubront (1-3, 5.09 ERA) to the mound against the Twins right-hander Ricky Nolasco (2-3, 5.64).

Napoli has 31-game on-base streak

First baseman Mike Napoli has reached base in 31 consecutive games in which he’s had a plate appearance after an RBI double in the first inning of the Red Sox’s 5-2 victory Sunday. It represents the longest active streak in baseball after Jose Bautista and Nolen Arenado failed to reach on Sunday. Before Sunday, Napoli had reached base by walk in nine straight.

Pierzynski on a roll

Catcher A.J. Pierzynski registered his third game with more than one RBI this season with a two-out, two-run single in the first inning of Boston’s 5-2 victory over Texas on Sunday. Pierzynski had multiple hits in five of his previous 11 games — batting .333 with two doubles, two homers and nine RBIs during the stretch — before a 1-for-4 game in the rubber match with Texas.

Entering Sunday, he was also the AL’s co-leader in catcher- caught-stealing percentage (58.8 percent), throwing out seven of 17 base runners before Texas’ Alex Rios stole second base twice against him and RHP John Lackey on Sunday.

“He’s had a lot of good at-bats,” Farrell said. “He’s a confident hitter, one with a long track record and he’s been in the middle of a number of scoring opportunities. He’s come up big. No bigger than the two-out single today.”

Pedroia providing spark

Second baseman Dustin Pedroia has multiple hits in four of his last eight games, including in Sunday’s 5-2 victory over Texas, when he went 2-for-4 with a leadoff double that set up a three-run first, a home run and a walk. He’s hitting .375 in that span. In the Texas series, he went 4-for-11 with two RBIs and two walks. “He sets the table for us,” Boston manager John Farrell said. “An extra-base hit to start things off in a day game after a night game kind of wakes you up and gives you a burst of energy. That’s what happened in the first.”

 

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