Red Sox Manager Alex Cora, right, said he received his first vaccine dose and will receive his second when a group of Red Sox players get shots on Wednesday. Mary Schwalm/Associated Press

BOSTON — Red Sox Manager Alex Cora said some of his players were getting their first COVID-19 vaccination at Fenway Park on Monday.

“Today, there’s some guys that are going to get the vaccine,” Cora said before the Red Sox hosted the White Sox in Boston’s annual Patriots’ Day game. “I’m not going to tell you how many.”

The state announced Monday that anyone 16 and older who lives, works or studies in Massachusetts is eligible to receive the vaccine. Cora said he already got his first shot and will get his second one with another group on Wednesday.

“I did it not only for myself, but I want to protect the people around me,” he said. “We’re doing it for the right reason. This is more than baseball.”

Cora said there’s been a lot of discussion about whether to get vaccinated.

“I’m not going to get into specifics, but there were a lot of good questions,” he said. “We got guys that have families and have kids already to guys that are trying to have kids. There were a lot of good questions and we provided them with people that are expects on this and they had answers.”

Cora said he was confident the Red Sox would get to the 85% vaccinated threshold that Major League Baseball would like to see each club reach. MLB and the players’ association sent a memo to players and staff last month that said some of the sport’s coronavirus-related restrictions would be relaxed once 85% of a team’s major league players and primary field staff are vaccinated.

For the first time since the Red Sox started playing their annual Patriots’ Day game in 1959, Monday’s contest was not in held in conjunction with the Boston Marathon, which was moved to a Oct. 11 due to the state’s limits on crowds because of the pandemic.

BRAVES: Atlanta says Ronald Acuña Jr. had an MRI on Monday that revealed a mild abdominal strain and that the star outfielder is day to day heading into a series at Yankee Stadium beginning Tuesday.

Acuña was injured in the fourth inning of Atlanta’s 13-4 win over the Chicago Cubs on Sunday night. He led off the fourth inning with a walk, and pitcher Kyle Hendricks threw over a couple of times while he was on first. It looked as if Acuña did something to his midsection on a dive back to the bag.

The All-Star was checked by a trainer while he was on second, but he stayed in. He got up slowly after diving home to score on Travis d’Arnaud’s sacrifice fly, and then was replaced in the field in the bottom half. Acuña is off to a terrific start this year, batting .419 with seven homers and 16 RBI in 16 games. The outfielder also has scored a major league-high 21 runs. He was honored as the National League’s player of the week Monday.

TWINS: The Minnesota Twins have been cleared to travel and are moving forward with plans for a doubleheader in Oakland on Tuesday after having their season interrupted by coronavirus concerns.

The Twins haven’t played since Friday to allow for virus testing and contact tracing as the club has had at least four positive coronavirus tests in the past week.

INDIANS: Cleveland plans to increase attendance at upcoming games at Progressive Field from 30% to 40%.

The team said that change will take effect on May 7, when the Indians host the Cincinnati Reds.

The Indians are following Ohio Department of Health guidelines and reviewing capacity limits on a month-to-month basis. Fans are required to wear masks while in the ballpark – unless they are actively eating or drinking – and encouraged to abide by other health and safety protocols.

Cleveland begins its longest homestand of the season on Tuesday against the Chicago White Sox before hosting the New York Yankees and Minnesota Twins.

MARLINS: Miami center fielder Starling Marte will be sidelined for at least a few games with a broken left rib. An MRI on Monday revealed a non-displaced fracture, meaning the rib maintained its proper alignment, the Marlins said. He will refrain from activity for five to seven days before being evaluated, and he’s expected to go on the injured list.

Marte grimaced while batting with two outs in the ninth inning of Sunday’s loss to San Francisco and left the game. He’s batting .316 with an OPS of .912, three stolen bases and two home runs.

Last year Marte led the majors by playing in 61 games in the abbreviated season for the Marlins and Arizona. But he broke his left hand in the playoffs when hit by a pitch.

STREAMING: Baseball fans are streaming games in record numbers through the first three weeks of the season.

Major League Baseball said Monday that the first 18 days of the season have been the most watched in the 20-year history of the MLB.TV streaming package.

Fans have watched more than 1.34 billion minutes of live games on the platform, which is a 12% increase when compared to the first 18 days of last season and 43% growth compared to the same period two years ago. Out-of-market streaming is up 22% compared to last season and 35% from two years ago.

The seven most-watched days recorded on MLB.TV have come this season. Opening Day on April 1 set the single-day record as users watched 121 million minutes of live games – up 26% from the previous high. MLB Network also announced live games are up 12% compared to the first 15 days of last season.

MONDAY’S GAMES

CARDINALS 12, NATIONALS 5: Paul DeJong hit two of the Cardinals’ five homers, including a grand slam, Tommy Edman and Paul Goldschmidt went deep back-to-back and St. Louis rolled to a win in Washington.

A day after St. Louis was shut out for the second time in four games, DeJong got the offense going by clanging a solo shot off the left-field foul pole in the second inning for the first run allowed by Joe Ross (1-1) in three games this season after he sat out 2020 because of COVID-19 concerns.

DeJong later ended the right-hander’s evening with another drive to left, this one off a high fastball after Dylan Carlson was walked intentionally to load the bases, making it 10-2 in the fifth.

GIANTS 2, PHILLIES 0: Brandon Belt hit a two-run homer, Kevin Gausman niftily pitched out of trouble in six innings and San Francisco won in Philadelphia.

San Francisco’s Gabe Kapler became the first manager in major league baseball history to start his career 200-200. Kapler, who was 161-163 as Philadelphia’s manager in 2018-19, was booed when he brought out the lineup card. Gausman (1-0) allowed six hits, walked four and struck out five. He lowered his ERA to 2.45.


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