Flu to keep Hanley in Boston; Kelly sent to hotel

Benintendi gets ill during game; NESN broadcaster O'Brien, too

Flu to keep Hanley in Boston; Kelly sent to hotel

DETROIT -- Another day, another flu for the Red Sox.

Reliever Joe Kelly is the latest to be impacted by an illness that has spread around the clubhouse in recent weeks, and the righty was sent back to the team hotel prior to Saturday's 4-1 loss to the Tigers.

Also, designated hitter Hanley Ramirez tested positive for influenza and missed his second straight game on Saturday, and it seems unlikely he will be cleared to fly to Detroit for the four-game series that concludes Monday afternoon.

"He's dealing with a pretty high-grade fever, so his status for this entire series is questionable," said Red Sox manager John Farrell.

The good news is that star right fielder Mookie Betts was cleared to fly to Detroit on Saturday morning and could be back in the lineup by Sunday.

By the mid-innings of Saturday's game, left fielder Andrew Benintendi was vomiting. He was able to stay in the game and the Red Sox can only hope he doesn't have the full-blown flu that is plaguing Ramirez and reliever Robbie Ross Jr.

According to Farrell, there are three offshoots of the illness being spread around the team.

"One's a respiratory one, one's flu-like symptoms, and one is the full-blown flu," Farrell said.

Not even the team's broadcasters are safe. In the middle of Saturday's game, NESN play-by-play man Dave O'Brien had to leave the ballpark. For a brief spurt, color analyst Jerry Remy took over play-by-play duties. The network had studio host Tom Caron do play-by-play remotely from NESN headquarters for the final few innings.

It has been kind of a surreal time around the Red Sox, and it has been going on for close to two weeks.

"It's not like we can go home and quit," said Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia. "We've got games to play, man. We've got a job to do, and we're going to try to do it the best we can."

The combination of the flu and two players (shortstop Xander Bogaerts and pitcher Matt Barnes) being on the bereavement list has created a challenging roster situation for the four-game series in Detroit, which started with two straight defats.

"Show up and give me a list of who's available and who's not," said Farrell. "There's really no other way to go about it."

The Red Sox's medical staff has done everything possible to limit the spreading of the flu, quarantining several players and staff members over the last couple of weeks, and doing as much disinfecting as possible in the clubhouse.

"We have been since Spring Training," said Farrell. "We've removed people to quarantine them, and yet this hasn't been able to be contained from one certain group to another or a couple of guys.

Barnes is eligible to return to action on Sunday and Bogaerts will likely be back at shortstop for Monday's series finale.

Center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr., who made two more highlight-reel plays on Saturday that Statcast™ rates as 4-star catches, raised some eyebrows when he coughed in the middle of his postgame interview.

Statcast: Bradley Jr.'s catches

But fear not, Bradley said.

"I don't get sick," Bradley said. "It's just a cough."

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.