Red Sox play-by-play announcer leaves in middle of game due to flu

DETROIT -- The flu bug that has run through the Boston Red Sox's clubhouse for the past two weeks reached the broadcast booth here Saturday.

Dave O'Brien, the play-by-play announcer for New England Sports Network, got sick midway through the Red Sox's 4-1 loss to the Detroit Tigers and left Comerica Park. NESN studio host Tom Caron took over play-by-play duties remotely from the network's studios.

In addition to O'Brien, outfielder Andrew Benintendi was throwing up in the sixth inning Saturday, but he stayed in the game; the Red Sox are hopeful he might avoid the flu.

The flu has claimed several victims, beginning last week with Red Sox first baseman Mitch Moreland and a few members of the coaching staff. Right fielder Mookie Betts, who missed three consecutive games, rejoined the team here Saturday, but designated hitter Hanley Ramirez is still back in Boston after testing positive for influenza.

Lefty reliever Robbie Ross Jr. was placed on the disabled list after testing positive for the flu. Fellow reliever Joe Kelly, who pitched in the eighth inning Friday, remained at the team's hotel Saturday after being hit by the illness.

"This hasn't been able to be contained from one certain group to another or a couple of guys," manager John Farrell said. "There's three different things that are going around -- one's a respiratory one, one's flu-like symptoms and one is the full-blown flu."

Farrell said most players were vaccinated for the flu in the fall, and the team has done its best to quarantine players who have gotten sick. But all the precautions haven't stopped the flu from spreading.

The Red Sox have also been without starting shortstop Xander Bogaerts and reliever Matt Barnes, who are both on bereavement leave. Barnes returns Sunday, Bogaerts on Monday.

Outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. hyperextended his right knee in the ninth inning Saturday, but he said he expects to play Sunday.