Red Sox add RHP Pivetta, INF/OF Santana to COVID-19 IL

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Boston Red Sox’s Nick Pivetta pitches to the Tampa Bay Rays during the first inning of a baseball game Monday, Aug. 30, 2021, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)

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BOSTON (AP) — The Boston Red Sox scratched Nick Pivetta on Sunday and placed the right-hander on the COVID-19 injured list.

The Red Sox also added infielder/outfielder Danny Santana to the list about 30 minutes before the first pitch against Cleveland. Santana is the 11th Boston player — six position players and five pitchers — to go on the COVID-19-related injury list in the past 10 days.

Pivetta was slated to start the series finale against the Indians at Fenway Park.

“You have to be patient,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said of the situation, explaining how the Yankees and his close friend, manager Aaron Boone, handled it earlier this season.

“It is strange, but honestly this is something, Boonie went through this in the season,’’ Cora said. “The way he handled it from afar, I was like: ‘Wow! This is great.’”

From the first day after the All-Star break until Aug. 8, the Yankees placed nine players on the COVID-19 list, including All-Stars Aaron Judge and Gerrit Cole.

With the Red Sox looking to secure a playoff spot, Cora knows there is no time to relax.

“You gotta keep going,” he said. “It’s not easy. I would love to have everybody here, but, at the same time, it’s part of it. It’s a challenge, but it’s a challenge that we like as a group.”

Kutter Crawford, 25, was recalled from Triple-A Worcester. The right-hander started against the Indians and gave up two runs in the first inning in his major league debut.

Boston rallied late to win the first two games of the series.

The Red Sox entered play Sunday a half-game behind the Yankees for the AL’s first wild-card spot and four games ahead of Oakland for the second berth.

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