BOSTON -- As expected, Red Sox shortstop Stephen Drew returns to the starting lineup Sunday after being sidelined with a strained oblique.
Drew is playing shortstop and batting eighth in the order.
“He passed his tests as far as swinging the bat with increased intensity,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said. “All the defensive work that he’s gone through really never reproduced the symptoms in the oblique, so he’s in there today.”
Drew had been out since June 8. As he was increasing his activity last Wednesday in Baltimore, he felt further discomfort, so the team thought it best to shut him down until he was healthy. He signed with the Red Sox in May, then spent 10 days in the minor leagues before being activated and playing four games for Boston before suffering the injury.
Drew took early batting practice again Sunday at Fenway Park and showed no ill effects.
Meanwhile, fellow Red Sox infielder Xander Bogaerts is not playing Sunday due to a bout of the flu, according to Farrell, who added Bogaerts arrived at the park with a fever, so the team wants to keep him away from the rest of the players to keep the bug from spreading around the clubhouse.
“We’ve kept him away from the group as much as we can this morning. Hopefully this doesn’t become something that spreads throughout,” Farrell said. “We’re hopeful he’s back in the lineup tomorrow.”