BOSTON -- Let’s see, the Red Sox have played 33 games so far this season and have used the disabled list nine times, for eight different players. At that rate, they’ll wind up using the DL 44 times for 39 players, which would easily trump the 34 times the Sons of Bobby Valentine used the DL last season for 27 players, which at the time seemed beyond calamitous.
This week began with closers going on the DL on consecutive days -- Andrew Bailey (biceps) on Monday, Joel Hanrahan (forearm strain) on Tuesday. Check back in the morning for more names, as catcher David Ross and third baseman Will Middlebrooks collided while in pursuit of a foul fly in the fifth inning. Middlebrooks caught the ball, but both players were forced from the game.
Ross left one batter later with what was called a bruised left quadriceps. Middlebrooks lasted another inning, but parted after the sixth with what was described as “right side” pain. These days, the acronyms most familiar to Sox fans are RBI, ERA and MRI.
The injuries have yet to dent the Sox where it would hurt most, the won-loss column, but as the SOBV proved last year, they have a way of catching up with you.
Tuesday night, the Sox looked anything but hale and hearty against the Minnesota Twins and left-hander Scott Diamond, who retired the last 15 batters he faced and allowed just three singles in seven innings in the Twins’ 6-1 win before a crowd of 30,549 on a lovely night in the Fens.
The Sox did not advance a runner as far as second base until Jarrod Saltalamacchia led off the bottom of the ninth with a home run. They could not prevent the game from slipping out of reach in the eighth, which began with back-to-back errors by replacement third baseman Pedro Ciriaco and included a throwing error by sub catcher Saltalamacchia.
It’s been a rough couple of games for Ciriaco, who on Monday night was inserted as a pinch-runner for David Ortiz and was thrown out attempting to steal third for the last out of the inning on ball four to Saltalamacchia, a major no-no.
It was a good night gone unrewarded for Sox starter Ryan Dempster, who already has experienced a few in the same vein this season. Dempster has made seven starts for the Sox, and in only one of them have the Sox scored more than three runs.
Tuesday night, Dempster pitched into the eighth, exiting only after Ciriaco’s errors, giving up just five hits and four runs (two earned), walking one and striking out eight. Ryan Doumit inflicted the greatest damage on Dempster, doubling and scoring on Wilkin Ramirez’s single through a drawn-in infield in the fifth, and hitting a home run that just cleared the wall in left-center in the seventh.
The Sox lost for only the third time in 15 games against teams with a sub-.500 record. They’re now 1-7 in games in which they’ve scored three or fewer runs.