BOSTON - The All-Star break can't come soon enough for the Red Sox, whose clubhouse now resembles a doctor's waiting room, with the patients stacked up, waiting to be seen.
In the span of one day, the Sox lost three players to injury and revealed that a fourth has been dealing with a physical issue for much of the week.
Among the walking -- and limping -- wounded from the Red Sox' 6-5 win over Tampa Bay Friday night were:
* Brock Holt, who returned last week from a month-long stint on the disabled list following his second concussion, was forced to leave the game in the fourth inning after he suffered a Grade 1 sprained left ankle.
Holt stole second base successfully, but jammed his ankle into the bag and limped off, replaced by Bryce Brentz.
Holt underwent an x-ray at the ballpark which proved negative, but is expected to have further imaging tests done Saturday.
It's virtually certain that Holt won't play in the final two games before the break. He could then have another four days to rest the ankle before the Red Sox resume the second half in New York on July 15.
He was placed in a boot, but was able to walk around in the clubhouse after coming out of the game.
* Closer Craig Kimbrel was unavailable for a save opportunity in the ninth.
"After pre-game conditioning and BP,'' said John Farrell, "he came in, complaining of some left knee discomfort. He was sent for an MRI here tonight. We'll get a better read once those images are viewed. We want have any further update until (Saturday). Everything that we did (with) early (work) he was fine, but then he felt something while running was taking place.''
Kimbrel will be held out of the final two games of the first half and Farrell indicated it was a given that Kimbrel won't take part in the All-Star game in San Diego. Kimbrel was picked earlier this week for the A.L. team.
* Hanley Ramirez fouled a ball off his left shin in the bottom of the eighth inning and came out of the game, replaced at first by Travis Shaw.
"Hanley's sore,'' said Farrell. "That's two times in the last two games that he's fouled a ball off the same spot on his shin. We'll re-evaluate him (Saturday) morning.''
Ramirez spoke briefly with reporters after the game and was noticably limping, though he wouldn't rule out playing Saturday.
* It was revealed that Junichi Tazawa was suffering from right shoulder tightness. Like Kimbrel, he was unavailable to pitch, and hasn't appeared in a game since Sunday. "Since his last appearance,'' said Farrell, "there's been a little discomfort there, so we've had to stay away (from using him).''
Farrell added that Tazawa had not undergone any tests and there were no plans in place to have any.
Tazawa has suffered from shoulder soreness in the past, but it's been overcome with rest.
If the Sox need to place either Kimbrel or Tazawa on the DL, they could turn to Pat Light from Pawtucket for the final two games. By the start of the second half, by which time Joe Kelly will have made four rehab appearances at the minor league level, Kelly could represent another solution in the bullpen.
As for Holt, the Sox expect newly-acquired Michael Martinez to arrive Saturday, and could now keep Bryce Brentz and Marco Hernandez around to help out. One of those two would have been optioned to make room for Martinez, but if Holt requires a DL stint, both could remain with the club.