Xander Bogaerts removed from game, joins list of Boston Red Sox to test positive for COVID-19

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Boston Red Sox star shortstop Xander Bogaerts was pulled from Tuesday night's 8-5 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays after testing positive for COVID-19, the latest coronavirus setback for the team.

Bogaerts was on the field before the start of the bottom of the second inning when manager Alex Cora motioned for him to come out of the game. The team announced his positive test a short while later.

Jonathan Arauz, who started at second base, took Bogaerts' spot at shortstop, while Yairo Munoz took second base.

Cora said afterward that it will be "tough" to be without Bogaerts while he's away on COVID-19 protocol.

"Obviously, Xander is the leader of the team," Cora said. "He's one of the best shortstops, if not the best shortstop in the league, and we're going to miss him."

Bogaerts is the sixth Red Sox player to test positive for COVID-19 since Friday. The others are Hirokazu Sawamura, Martin Perez, Matt Barnes, Enrique Hernandez and Christian Arroyo.

The Boston bullpen has been hit hard by the outbreak that started last week.

Sawamura, a right-handed relief pitcher, went on the coronavirus-related injured list earlier Tuesday, while left-handed reliever Josh Taylor was added to the list as a close-contact individual.

Perez and Barnes were added to the COVID-19 IL before Monday's 6-1 loss to the Rays. It was announced afterward that Taylor and first-base coach Tom Goodwin were in quarantine as close contacts and that quality control coach Ramon Vazquez had tested positive.

Hernandez and Arroyo were placed on COVID-19 injured list on Friday. They remain in Cleveland, where the Red Sox were playing when both tested positive.

Red Sox slugger Kyle Schwarber said that beyond missing his teammates' contributions on the field, he is worried about their health.

""It's unfortunate," he said. "I think your biggest concern is just the health of the individuals. This is no joke."

Boston outfielder Hunter Renfroe, who was placed on the bereavement list on Thursday following the death of his father, cleared MLB protocols and was reinstated to the active roster. He started in right field and hit leadoff, going 2-for-5 with two doubles and a run scored.

"It hasn't been easy, but I try to focus on the positives," Cora said.

Boston, 20-23 since the All-Star break, has a one-game lead over the Oakland Athletics for the second American League wild card. The A's won 9-3 against the Detroit Tigers on Tuesday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.