Red Sox slugger Mookie Betts was removed from Sunday’s lineup after experiencing tightness in his left side, according to a team announcement. It’s not clear exactly when or how Betts sustained the injury, but he’s considered day-to-day while the Red Sox try to determine whether the issue is more serious than it appears.
Betts, 25, has managed to steer clear of the disabled list throughout his five-year career in the majors. He dealt with a minor bout of hamstring tightness earlier this season and was temporarily held back with a contusion in his right shoulder, but has yet to suffer any significant injuries. Through Saturday, he boasted a .359/.437/.750 batting line with a league-leading 19 doubles, 17 home runs, and 1.187 OPS through 213 PA.
Blake Swihart took Betts’ place in left field for Sunday’s series finale against the Braves. It’s his first start in the outfield since June 2016. The Red Sox currently trail the Braves 4-0 in the fifth inning.
Reds right-hander Anthony DeSclafani put on a show during Saturday’s matinee against the Cubs. Up 2-1 in the third inning, the hurler hooked a Brian Duensing fastball over the left field fence for his first career home run — and first career grand slam:
Grand slams are impressive no matter the player or situation, but they’re made all the more special in rare circumstances like this one. Not only is DeSclafani the first pitcher to deliver a grand slam in 2018, but he’s the first Reds hurler to do so in nearly 60 years. Per MLB.com’s Brian Scott Rippee, right-hander Bob Purkey was the last to hit a slam for the Reds in 1959, when he took Cubs reliever John Buzhardt deep in the third inning of a 12-3 drubbing.
The 28-year-old righty had a decent outing on the mound as well, holding the Cubs to two runs, four walks, and three strikeouts over 6 1/3 innings before passing the ball to reliever Michael Lorenzen. Entering Saturday, he carried a 2-1 record in three games, with a 4.60 ERA, 2.3 BB/9 and 8.6 SO/9 across 15 2/3 innings — not too shabby for someone who hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2016.
The Reds currently lead 8-2 in the bottom of the seventh.