Red Sox star Betts out 2nd straight day, tightness left side

BOSTON (AP) Red Sox star outfielder Mookie Betts is out of the lineup for the second straight game because of tightness on his left side.

”We do feel that probably tomorrow might be a day that he will come back,” manager Alex Cora said Monday morning before Boston’s series opener against Toronto at Fenway Park. ”I prefer to stay away from him for probably two days. If everything is going this way, there’s no need to push him. Makes no sense.”

Betts was a late scratch Sunday after feeling the pain during batting practice.

The 25-year-old is off to a splendid start this season. Entering Monday, he leads the majors with a .359 batting average and is tied with the Angels’ Mike Trout with 17 homers.

Cora had Andrew Benintendi listed as the leadoff hitter for the second consecutive day, but changed things defensively from Sunday by inserting Brock Holt in Betts’ usual spot in right field.

Earlier this month, Betts had his second three-homer game of the season, giving him four in his career, which moved him ahead of Hall of Famer Ted Williams for most in club history.

Betts also became the first player in major league history with four three-homer games before turning 26, according to STATS.