Red Sox Notes: Alex Cora Explains Why Mookie Betts Was Placed On 10-Day DL

The Boston Red Sox will be without their right fielder for longer than anticipated.

Mookie Betts was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a left abdominal strain beforeĀ Boston’s 7-3 loss to the Houston Astros on Friday night from Minute Maid Park. The move is retroactive to Tuesday, making the 25-year-old eligible to return to the Sox roster June 8.

Red Sox manager Alex Cora said he spoke with Betts before the game, which prompted the decision.

“We went to the cage (and) he was going to take live (batting practice), you could see he was a little hesistant,” Cora said, as seen on NESN’s Red Sox postgame coverage. “He made some progress, but he feels he’s not there yet.”

The skipper also noted he told Betts “let’s keep progressing and when you’re ready, you’re ready.”

Betts said after the game that the injury itself was feeling better, and he only feels it when he swings and even though it’s pain he says he could play through, he doesn’t want to run the risk of further injuring himself, per The Boston Herald’s Jason Mastrodonato. It’s uncertain if the right fielder will return in 10 days or if he will need more time for the strain to heal.

Boston recalled Sam Travis from Triple-A Pawtucket in place of the injured Betts.

Here are other notes from Friday’s Red Sox-Astros game:

— Chris Sale pitched six innings, giving up four runs (all earned) on six hits with six strikeouts. His walks were significantly down from his previous start when he allowed four, with one Friday night. This is the first time the lefty has lost consecutive games since August 2017.

“It’s frustrating,” Sale said after the game. “Two bad innings overall and (it) costs your team the game … I’ve had two bad outings (and) they just happen to be back-to-back.”

— Mitch Moreland and J.D. Martinez hit back-to-back home runs in the fourth inning to bring Boston within a run. Sale had high praise for his teammates after the game, saying the homers picked him up after going down early in the game.

“I appreciate that, obviously,” he said. “(But) I still gotta find another way to win.”

Martinez’s blast marked the 19th of the season — making him the sole leader of home runs in Major League Baseball.

— Dustin Pedroia did not play in his second straight game after he was a late scratch before Thursday night’s game with left knee soreness.

Cora said the second baseman did not preform any baseball activities Friday and likely won’t play Saturday.

— Joe Kelly gave up three runs in the eighth inning. Before that, the right-handed pitcher had only surrendered one run since Opening Day.