Red Sox: Pitchers Pérez and Barnes, to IL COVID-19

ST. PETERSBURG, Florida – Left-handed pitcher Martin Perez and the closer Matt Barnes became the newest Boston Red Sox players to test positive for COVID-19.

Perez and Barnes were placed on the COVID-19 disabled list on Monday, joining a list of other Red Sox players who will lose time during a critical stretch of the season.

Red Sox manager Alex Cora confirmed the drop in pitchers ahead of Monday’s game in Tampa Bay.

The Red Sox stuck to Major League Baseball’s coronavirus protocols that include contact tracing and diagnostic testing.

The infielder-gardener Kiké Hernandez and the infielder Christian Arroyo placeholder image they tested positive last week and were placed on the COVID casualty list on Friday.

Cora reported that Hernández and Arroyo are feeling fine.

Perez is 7-8 with a 4.88 ERA in 31 games this season, with 22 starts.

Barnes has 24 saves along with a 6-5 record in 54 appearances.

The Red Sox, who have struggled most of August, have won three of four heading into the series against the Rays, who ranked first. Boston entered the week eight games behind Tampa Bay in the AL East, but also 2.5 games ahead of the Oakland Athletics for second AL wild-card position.

To fill the vacant spots on the roster, Boston called in right-hand pitchers Phillips valdez and Raynel Espinal of Triple A, Worcester.