BOSTON — The continued Red Sox roster shakeup that sent Eduardo Nunez to waivers Monday and Ryan Brasier to Pawtucket Tuesday landed Darwinzon Hernandez back in the Boston bullpen with a chance to be a contributor for the stretch run in a playoff race.

This will be the third major league call-up for Hernandez, who pitched once in each of the previous two stints. Hernandez threw two scoreless innings of relief in April and gave up four runs (three earned) on three hits and five walks and took the loss against Texas on June 11.

He’s 2-6 with a 5.02 ERA and 79 strikeouts in 57 1/3 innings over 17 games combined between Double-A and Triple-A. Since moving to the Pawtucket bullpen on July 5 he’s allowed one run on one hit and one walk in four innings with six strikeouts.

“We feel like his stuff will play. Even when he makes a mistake with his fastball in the zone it plays,” Alex Cora said. “We saw flashes of that in his start against Texas. That first inning was electric so now it’s not about going six or seven, it’s about getting that guy out. We’ll take it step by step. Just get this guy out and if he does, get the next one and the next one. We’ll see how he takes it. But stuff wise, we feel like he’ll be fine. It’s just a matter of getting him out and putting him in a spot to be successful.”

Speaking in Spanish through a team interpreter, Hernandez said adjusting to being a reliever hasn’t been difficult.

“It’s been good. It’s been easy. I’m just here to pitch,” he said. “Wherever they want to put me, as long as I’m able to help the team it’s fine with me. It’s been a smooth transition. Not much changed in terms of the way I prepare, I’ve ben a reliever before. Wherever they want to put me, it’s embracing the opportunity of being out there.”

He said he tried to avoid getting discouraged after his last call-up.
“I just try to keep a positive mindset after that start and try to take all the adjustments that needed to be made and take it to Triple A,” he said. “I try to remain positive and continue to work on the stuff I was working on.”

TWINS:  The Minnesota Twins placed center fielder Byron Buxton on the seven-day injured list for players with concussion-like symptoms, just as first baseman C.J. Cron and left fielder Eddie Rosario returned from their injuries.

The Twins also designated right-handed reliever Mike Morin for release or assignment before their series opener against the New York Mets.

Buxton was hurt Saturday while making a headfirst, diving catch of a sinking line drive. He was sidelined for 13 games last month with a bruised right wrist.

Because of the All-Star break, Cron only missed five games with right thumb inflammation. Rosario was out for 13 games with a sprained left ankle.

Morin had a 3.18 ERA in 23 appearances after being invited to spring training on a minor league contract.

RANGERS: The Texas Rangers activated Hunter Pence from the injured list after he missed 23 games and his chance to start in the All-Star Game.

Pence, out since June 17 with a right groin strain, was activated before Tuesday night’s game against Arizona. He was set to bat third as the designated hitter.

Outfielder Willie Calhoun was optioned to Triple-A Nashville. The Rangers also selected the contract of right-hander Taylor Guerrieri from Nashville after left-hander Jesse Biddle was placed on the 10-day injured list with left shoulder fatigue.

Pence hit .294 with 15 home runs and 48 RBI in his 55 games before getting hurt. He was voted by fans as the American League’s starting designated hitter, but couldn’t play in last week’s game while still recovering from his injury.

Rangers Manager Chris Woodward said Pence would only be the DH for at least a week.

Calhoun, who started 17 games while Pence was out, has hit .277 with five homers and 13 RBI in 26 games overall this season.

“I’m literally speechless,” said Calhoun, who was Texas’ primary acquisition in the trade that sent pitcher Yu Darvish to the Los Angeles Dodgers on July 31, 2017.

“I helped the team win. I don’t know what else I would have done. At the end of the day, if that’s what they want to do, if me helping the team win is me playing in Nashville, then I guess I’m going to have to play every day in Nashville.”

Woodward said Calhoun was told that with Pence’s return the club didn’t want to keep seven outfielders.

“It was a tough one,” Woodward said. “It kept us up. He really has done everything to stay here.”

INDIANS: The Cleveland Indians optioned first baseman Bobby Bradley to Triple-A Columbus and recalled right-hander Zach Plesac to start Tuesday night against Detroit.

CARDINALS: The St. Louis Cardinals placed infielder Matt Carpenter on the 10-day injured list with a right foot contusion.

Carpenter injured his foot in the seventh inning of Monday night’s 7-0 win over the Pirates. He fouled a pitch off the top of his foot.
The team says X-rays on the foot came back negative.


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