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Bogaerts gets night off; Herrera starts at short

Bogaerts gets night off; Herrera starts at short

BOSTON -- The Red Sox gave shortstop Xander Bogaerts a breather on Wednesday, going instead with left-handed hitter Jonathan Herrera.

It was just the third time in 34 games Bogaerts has been out of manager John Farrell's lineup, and the first since April 26 against Toronto.

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"A day off and a chance to get another left-handed bat in the lineup," Farrell said. "[Mike] Leake has been very tough on right-handers. As you see, there are some other alignments in the lineup that kind of reflect that as well."

Though Bogaerts has generally been pretty effective offensively this season, particularly as an on-base threat, he went 0-for-5 on Tuesday as his batting average dropped to .268.

"I wouldn't say [Wednesday's day off] is a mental breather," Farrell said. "He expanded the strike zone I thought on one at-bat when we had the bases loaded. They were giving him a heavy dose of breaking balls. I think it's more situational with the opposition and the opposing pitcher in Leake tonight, and really getting Herrera back in. It's been eight or nine days since he's been in there."

Like a lot of Boston's hitters this season, Bogaerts has struggled with men in scoring position, going 4-for-32.

"There may be a tendency to expand the strike zone at times with him," Farrell said. "There's more expansion of the strike zone, particularly up with the fastball and off the plate away with the breaking ball. Where we've seen a selective, patient approach with nobody on base, there might be more of a tendency to swing the bat in those situations."

Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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