ST. PETERSBURG -- Adrian Gonzalez was scratched from Friday night's lineup shortly before the game against the Rays for precautionary reasons, as Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine thought the first baseman looked stiff before the game.
Gonzalez left Sunday's first-half finale after just two innings due to flu-like symptoms, and Valentine said the illness "might have been a little related" to Gonzalez's condition. With Gonzalez out, Mauro Gomez took over at first base and hit cleanup. Completely scrapping and rearranging the lineup would have been too much of a juggling act, Valentine explained.
"I didn't think he was moving around real well today," said Valentine, who spoke to Gonzalez in the Boston clubhouse and during batting practice Friday afternoon. "For me, the decision to scratch him -- again, precautionary, make sure nothing happens that will keep him out more than a day.
"He was just real stiff today. Must have been from all the weight he lost and everything [while he was sick]."
Friday marked Gomez's first start of the season at first base, where he committed an error in the first inning. He had appeared in seven games this season, going 8-for-22 with three doubles, three RBIs, a walk and four strikeouts entering Friday. He finished 0-for-4 with two strikeouts and grounded into an inning-ending double play in the seventh.