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Xander Bogaerts reflects on why he sat this one out

04.19.14 at 11:10 pm ET
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It was another first for Xander Bogaerts: a day off.

The Red Sox shortstop wasn’t in the lineup for the Red Sox‘ 4-2 win over the Orioles Saturday afternoon. While it was an understandable respite, Bogaerts hinted at an ailment that might have finally pushed him to the bench.

“I felt fine. I was starting to swing the bat pretty good lately. The day off is just to get some rest and let my body recover,” he said. “I mean I got hit twice in Chicago.”

What Bogaerts was referring to were two separate occasions in Chicago, when he was plunked in both the left and right calves.

While he wouldn’t use the injuries as an excuse, the sore legs might have contributed to the shortstop’s defensive issues of late.

“I like to play every day. I really don’t like days off. But especially with those two hit by pitches, it’s been tough,” Bogaerts said. “Hopefully I’ll be in there tomorrow.

“I wouldn’t blame (defensive issues) on that, but a bit, a little bit. You get sore down there and your legs are your most important part. I should have reached some of the balls I would have reached if I had everything set.”

Bogaerts said of the two hit-by-pitches, the first, coming in the Red Sox’ series opener against the Whit Sox, was the worst, hitting just above his left ankle.

“Really during the game you don’t feel it that much,” he explained, “but after the game, that’s when it starts kick in.”

Offensively, Bogaerts has been one of the Red Sox’ most consistent performers, carrying a team-best .411 on-base percentage while claiming hits in all but five of his 17 games. Starting in his place Saturday was Jonathan Herrera, who came through in the seventh inning with a run-scoring bunt single.

“All the games are really important, especially with how we started so far,” he said. “We need to pick back up and get back on the right track. It’s good to watch the game and get a win.”

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