Eduardo Nunez aggravates knee injury in Red Sox’s ALDS opener
HOUSTON — Eduardo Nunez’s latest comeback lasted for one pitch.
Nunez, starting Game 1 of the American League Division Series as the Boston Red Sox‘s designated hitter Thursday against the Houston Astros, stumbled out of the batter’s box and crumpled to the dirt along the first-base line after grounding out.
Nunez was carried off the field, having aggravated a right knee injury that sidelined him for most of the past month.
Nunez’s status for the rest of the series is “to be determined,” the team said. Hanley Ramirez replaced him in the DH spot.
If Nunez has to be replaced on the division series roster, he would not be eligible for the American League Championship Series, should the Red Sox advance.
The Red Sox were hoping Nunez would be ready to play even though he had already suffered one setback in his recovery from a sprained posterior cruciate ligament. Instead, it’s likely Nunez will be replaced on the roster before Game 2. Veteran outfielder Chris Young would be the most probable candidate to be activated.
Nunez tried to come back last week but tweaked his knee after only two at-bats. He was fitted for a brace, which the Red Sox hoped would help stabilize his knee when he twisted during his swings and began running out of the batter’s box. After a workout Monday at Fenway Park, the Red Sox were confident Nunez would be able to return in the postseason.
Acquired from the San Francisco Giants a few days before the trade deadline, Nunez gave the Boston offense a jolt. He batted .321 with eight homers in 165 at-bats after hitting only four homers in 302 at-bats with the Giants.
Nunez, known for his versatility, settled in as the everyday second baseman in August while Dustin Pedroia was on the disabled list.