BOSTON — The Astros are down two second basemen.
Aledmys Díaz exited Friday’s series opener against the Red Sox with “left hamstring discomfort” after sprinting to beat out a second-inning infield single. The scene was eerily similar to José Altuve’s incident last week.
Díaz will undergo an MRI on Saturday morning, he said.
“My last step to the base I felt it. I think I tried to maybe stretch too much. That happened,” Díaz said after the Astros’ 3-1 win. “I felt like I could stay in the game. I (ran) 80 percent. This early in the season I don’t want to push too hard and aggravate it.”
Since Altuve was placed on the injured list six days ago, Díaz has filled in famously. The 28-year-old former All-Star has started each game at second base in Altuve’s absence, striking three home runs and a double. His second-inning single against Boston starter Rick Porcello on Friday made him 8-for-19 since Altuve hit the IL.
After reaching base Friday, Díaz remained in the game throughout the half-inning. He advanced to second base on a wild pitch with no evident distress. Still, he did not emerge to play defense, ceding his spot to Tony Kemp.
Though he won a gold glove in 2014 as a minor league second baseman, Kemp is a veteran of only 45 major league innings there. He’s started two games in his three-year major league career at second base.
Kemp secured three put-outs in his first three innings of work during Friday’s game. He slid to his left to steal a run-scoring single from Christian Vazquez and conclude the fourth inning, stranding Xander Bogaerts at second.
“A game-changer because they probably score on that base hit,” Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. “That’s a key play. He’s an athlete, he can figure it out. We’ve obviously had some work with him — he takes ground balls a ton and works in the infield — but nothing like coming into Fenway and getting ambushed in the second inning.”
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