Red Sox IF Hernández tests positive for COVID-19

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CLEVELAND — Boston Red Sox infielder Kike Hernandez has tested positive for COVID-19 and will be sidelined indefinitely.

Manager Alex Cora said Hernandez is experiencing symptoms. He’ll be placed on the COVID-19 list along with second baseman Christian Arroyo, who had close contact with Hernandez.

“They’ll be out for an extended period of time,” Cora said Friday night before the Red Sox, who are in the thick of the playoff race, opened a three-game series against the Indians.

Cora would not divulge whether Hernandez is vaccinated.

Cora said infielders Yairo Munoz and Jonathan Arauz will be recalled from Triple-A, and the Red Sox were hoping they would arrive in time to be available Friday night.

With COVID-19 cases on the rise across the country, MLB teams have seen a recent jump in infections as well.

“It’s something we’re dealing with in our world, and outside our world. I don’t want to say that we’re lucky that we’ve been OK throughout the season, but it just happened,” Cora said. “It’s happened to a lot of teams and we’ve got to find a way to keep moving forward and keep playing good baseball.”

Cora said he’s confident the Red Sox have been vigilant in following protocols.

“We’re disciplined,” he said. “In talking to other teams, we’re probably the most aggressive team testing-wise.”

Cora said following a recent outbreak on the Texas Rangers, the Red Sox took extra measures to make sure players “were clear, sound.”

“We’re doing a good job,” he said. “This is just what we’re fighting against. It’s not Kike’s fault. He’s been great in taking care of his family. … It’s something we can’t control. We’re fighting an invisible enemy and it just happened that he tested positive.”

Blue Jays clinch playoff berth with Orioles’ loss to Red Sox

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TORONTO — The Blue Jays clinched a postseason berth Thursday without taking the field.

Toronto was assured of an AL wild card berth when the Boston Red Sox beat the Baltimore Orioles 5-3.

If Toronto holds its current position as the first of the AL’s three wild cards, the Blue Jays would open a best-of-three wild-card series at Rogers Centre next week.

“These guys are excited to be in this position,” Blue Jays manager John Schneider said after Wednesday’s 8-3 loss to the New York Yankees. “You’ve got three really good pitchers lined up against a good Boston team, playing at home. So I think it’s more excitement more than it’s nerves or anything. I think the guys are going to come out and be ready to roll on Friday night.”

Toronto became the fourth AL team to clinch a playoff berth, joining division champions Houston, the Yankees and Cleveland. The Astros and Yankees have first-round byes.

The Blue Jays last went to the playoffs in 2020, when they were knocked out with two straight losses to Tampa Bay.

Eight of the 12 berths in the expanded postseason have been clinched: The Los Angeles Dodgers and St. Louis earned division titles, and Atlanta and the New York Mets are assured no worse the wild cards while still competing to win the NL East. The Dodgers have a first-round bye.