BOSTON — Rookie Andrew Vaughn never would have guessed his eighth major-league start would go down in front of the Green Monster at Fenway Park. But there he was Saturday, a first baseman converted to left fielder just a few weeks ago playing one of the trickiest outfield spots in the game.
“I mean, it’s amazing,” Vaughn said before the game. “This field is historic.”
Vaughn took a tour of the field when he played in the Cape Cod League, so he had seen it up close. But not with an outfielder’s glove on his left hand.
“There’s that huge Green Monster out there,” said Vaughn, who played some balls off it hours before the game but had very little action during the game.
Viewed through spring training as the likely designated hitter until Eloy Jimenez got hurt, Vaughn, batting .160, isn’t creating much action at the plate. That continued with a 1-for-4 day with an infield hit in the ninth. After Luis Robert singled and stole second with one out and the scored tied, Vaughn struck out on a pitch at eye level.
“It’s definitely a learning curve,” he said. “This game ain’t easy. It’s going to get you, and you’ve just got to keep going, battling and trusting yourself, trusting the process and just go out there and try to win ballgames.”
Fenway Park was as good as any place to try.
“It’s humbling, you get to be here and be on the big stage,” he said. “Just got to enjoy it.”
Manager Tony La Russa switched Jose Abreu (fourth) and Yoan Moncada (third) from the lineup spots they’ve held all season, citing Abreu’s history of succeeding with runners on base as a way to get him going. After having a 12-game streak of reaching base safely snapped Thursday, Abreu entered the game batting .184. Moncada was at .191.
The strategy paid off early. After Adam Eaton and Moncada walked against right-hander Nick Pivetta, Abreu doubled down the third-base line to score Eaton. Moncada scored on Yermin Mercedes’ groundout. Moncada also had a sacrifice fly, and Abreu had two hits.
Next man up
With the rainout Friday, the Sox could have pitched Dallas Keuchel and Lucas Giolito on Sunday and Carlos Rodon on Monday, but they chose to push Giolito and Rodon, who threw 114 pitches in his no-hitter Wednesday, back for an extra day of rest.
A 27th man, a pitcher, will be activated Sunday for the split doubleheader. It could be a starter for the second game after lefty Keuchel starts Game 1.
Right-hander Jonathan Stiever, who is on the 40-man roster, would be a candidate. The taxi squad travels with the team.
Shortstop Luis Aparicio made his major-league debut 65 years ago Saturday against the Indians and went on to win the AL Rookie of the Year award to begin a Hall of Fame career with the White Sox (1956-62, ’68-70), Orioles (1963-67) and Red Sox (1971-73). He was selected to 13 All-Star Games, won nine Gold Gloves and led the AL in stolen bases in nine consecutive seasons (1956-1964).
“I accomplished my goal to reach the -majors, and when I retired, I fulfilled the promise I made to my dad: I was second to none,” Aparicio said.
Williams back to minors
Outfielder Nick Williams cleared waivers and was outrighted to Schaumburg.