Ian Kinsler leading off for Red Sox with Mookie Betts sidelined by side injury

Boston Red Sox right fielder Mookie Betts, who left Sunday's game against the Mets after injuring his side while making a throw, was held out of the lineup for Tuesday night's 3-2 loss to the Yankees in New York.

Boston manager Alex Cora scratched Betts out of caution because of the soggy conditions.

"He's doing OK,'' Cora said. "The weather kind of like pushed me to not play him.''

Sunday, both Betts and Cora said they expected the MVP candidate to play when the Red Sox opened the three-game series. Speaking before Tuesday's game, Cora said Betts was originally in his starting lineup before rain pushed the game back six hours to a 7:05 p.m. first pitch.

Cora can be cautious with Betts because the Red Sox have by far baseball's best record, but Betts prefers consistent at-bats to stay sharp. He's also making a push for his first MVP award with an AL-best .337 batting average.

"I know he's close to doing a few things that are very special in this game,'' Cora said. "But like I've been saying, he's a small guy, not as big as some other ones, and we need him to be close to 100 percent.''

If Betts plays Wednesday, he will serve as the team's designated hitter, according to Cora.

In June, Betts hit the disabled list with left side soreness and missed 12 games. Cora said the latest injury was not related to that.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.