MLB: Red Sox hope to add Wilyer Abreu to lineup vs. Reds

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The Boston Red Sox could have outfielder Wilyer Abreu in the lineup Saturday when they visit the Cincinnati Reds for the second game of a three-game series.

Abreu has been on the 10-day injured list since June 4 with a sprained right ankle, but he was with the team Friday and Boston manager Alex Cora said Abreu likely will be activated before Saturday’s contest.

“He’s probably going to be active,” Cora said before Cincinnati’s 5-2 victory over Boston on Friday night.

Abreu, who turns 25 on Monday, is being mentioned as an American League Rookie of the Year candidate. He’s batting .272 with a .344 on-base percentage and a .485 slugging percentage through 53 games this season (169 at-bats). He has six homers, 14 doubles, two triples, 22 RBIs, seven steals and 19 walks.

Abreu went 3-for-12 with two home runs, three runs, two RBIs, one walk and three strikeouts in three games with Triple-A Worcester before he joined the Red Sox on Friday.

“I feel very good at the plate,” Abreu said Friday through a translator. “Hopefully it doesn’t take long to get back to the form I was before the injury. So I hope everything goes well.”

Everything went well for Cincinnati designated hitter Jeimer Candelario during Friday’s game. Candelario hit two solo home runs and leads the Reds with 14 long balls on the season.

“Like I always said, I want to be ready for the mistakes a pitcher makes,” Candelario said. “I want to attack the strike zone. For me right now it’s keep getting my reps the right way. … Hopefully I can continue doing this — what we’re doing right now — and help the team win for sure.

“I’m going to put myself in a good position to drive the ball up (the) opposite way into gaps and that’s what happened today.”

Nick Pivetta (4-4, 3.88 ERA) is listed as Boston’s probable starter for Saturday’s game. Pivetta is 1-1 with a 2.92 ERA in seven career appearances (three starts) against the Reds. He has 30 strikeouts in 24 2/3 innings.

Fellow right-hander Frankie Montas (3-5, 4.62) is Cincinnati’s scheduled starter. Montas has an 0-2 record and a 2.19 ERA in six games (four starts) against the Red Sox. He’s allowed 27 hits in 24 2/3 innings.

Boston struck out 14 times during Friday’s loss, which is one strikeout shy of the team-high in a game this season. Catcher Connor Wong and outfielder Jarren Duran are two Boston players who didn’t struggle at the plate Friday, however. Both hit a solo home run in the loss, and each will carry an 11-game hitting streak into Saturday’s matchup.

Wong is batting .335 with six home runs and 26 RBIs in 55 games this season, after hitting .235 in 126 games last season.

“Night and day compared to last year,” Cora said. “Night and day. … I think overall his at-bats are solid. He’s executing the plan. He made some adjustments mechanically, but I think it’s about execution and he’s been great.”

–Field Level Media

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