Middlebrooks latest Red Sox player to exit with illness

On 26th birthday, third baseman leaves with nausea, lightheadedness

Middlebrooks latest Red Sox player to exit with illness

BOSTON --- Red Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks left Tuesday night's 4-1 loss to the Orioles in the fifth inning due to nausea and lightheadedness.

Brock Holt exited Friday night's game because of similar symptoms, as did first baseman Mike Napoli on Saturday. Napoli missed just Sunday's game, while Holt has still not returned to the lineup. The utility man has also been dealing with a stiff neck.

"To say that this is running rampant, I can't say that," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "But very similar symptoms."

Carlos Rivero came on to play third base at the start of the sixth at Fenway Park. The 26-year-old singled in his first plate appearance of the night for his first Major League hit, then doubled in his second. It looked as if that two-bagger into right-center would bring the tying run to the plate with Boston trailing, 4-1, in the ninth, but Xander Bogaerts was thrown out at home.

Middlebrooks, who turned 26 on Tuesday, has been plagued by the injury bug all season. He suffered from a right hyperextended middle finger during Spring Training, a strained calf in April, then fractured his right index finger and was rehabbing with Triple-A Pawtucket on and off for more than two months before returning to Boston on Aug. 1.

After hitting 15 home runs in 75 games in 2012, Middlebrooks has never been fully healthy and back on track over the last two seasons. He's slashed .182/.249/.260 in 197 plate appearances with the Red Sox in 2014.

Steven Petrella is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.