It strains the imagination: Now Beltre hurt
TORONTO — Adrian Beltre is headed to the All-Star Game. Whether he plays has not been determined.
The third baseman suffered what the Red Sox described as a strained left hamstring while running out a ground ball in the fifth inning of yesterday’s 3-2 victory over Toronto.
He stayed in the game for the bottom of the inning then was taken out.
“Hopefully it’s more of a cramp. That would be the hope. He didn’t want to come out,’’ manager Terry Francona said. “Once we got the lead he kind of relented.
“We’ll check him out. Obviously with the three days off and him going to the All-Star Game, we’ll stay with him daily. He’ll check in every day and [we’ll] see how he’s doing.’’
Beltre thought the injury was serious at first. But his condition improved quickly once he got off his feet.
“It’s tough to tell because I thought it was going to be worse,’’ he said. “It felt like something was going to pop, and every time I curled my legs I got a cramp on it. Hopefully tomorrow it feels better.’’
The Sox would move to exclude Beltre from playing if they feel there is any danger of his becoming more injured. After being selected to the All-Star team for the first time, Beltre is eager to participate. He is hitting .330 with 13 home runs and 55 RBIs.
“So far I’m playing for now if they ask me to,’’ he said. “But we’ll see how it feels tomorrow.’’
Beltre said he would not take any unnecessary risks.
“If I don’t feel good, I won’t play,’’ he said. “It’s the All-Star Game, but I don’t want to screw up the season for a couple at-bats in an exhibition game. I’ll be cautious on that.’’
The Sox already have 11 players on the disabled list. When Beltre came out of the game, second baseman Bill Hall moved to third and Eric Patterson came in to play second.
It was the first time Hall has played third base this season. The only positions he has yet to play are catcher and first base.
X-rays were negative, but Cameron was sore enough to be replaced in the lineup by Darnell McDonald.
“I’m fine,’’ said Cameron, who demonstrated that by flexing his wrist. “I have enough meat there. It’s just a bruise.’’
Those players headed for the All-Star Game boarded a private jet for the trip to California.
Francona scheduled an optional workout for Wednesday at 6 p.m. at Fenway Park.
“It’s not a test to see who shows up,’’ he said. “We really do want them to get away. There’s certain guys, especially the pitchers, who need to come in and throw. We’ll be in there for them. But we want guys to get away, it’s good for them.’’
Daniel Nava flew directly to Nashville to hang out with a friend and catch some music. Scott Atchison and his family plan to see some of Cape Cod. Cameron will spend time with his family at their home in Georgia.
First base coach Ron Johnson left the clubhouse wearing a cowboy hat. His next stop was his farm in Tennessee.
“Can’t wait to ride my horse,’’ he said.