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Red Sox Heading To Toronto Shorthanded Due To Canada's COVID Vaccination Policy

BOSTON (CBS) -- The Red Sox stumbled in St. Petersburg over the weekend, dropping two of three to the AL East rival Tampa Bay Rays to fall to 7-9 on the young season. Now Boston gets to travel for another AL East showdown, this time to Toronto for four games against the first-place Jays.

Boston will be shorthanded for this set too, as any players who are not vaccinated against COVID-19 are not allowed to cross the Canadian border. On Monday afternoon, the Red Sox announced that Tanner Houck and Kutter Crawford had been placed on the restricted list, indicating they are not eligible to play north of the border.

Being on the restricted list means Crawford and Houck will not receive a paycheck or service time for the four days in Toronto. The rest of the Red Sox will have to do their best with what they have against the first-place Jays.

Houck was the only player known to be out heading into the trip. He would have been slated to pitch Tuesday night. The Red Sox were able to maneuver around Houck leading up to the series, with Garrett Whitlock and Rich Hill starting over the weekend against Tampa, so Houck's spot won't come up until Thursday. Nick Pivetta will now pitch Tuesday night, with Whitlock likely getting another start on Thursday.

Manager Alex Cora -- who's currently out while dealing with a case of COVID -- had said that more than one player would be affected by the rule, and Crawford's addition to the restricted list would seemingly correspond with that, leaving the team without another pitcher this week.

The COVID rules could change by the time the Red Sox make their next trip to Toronto in late June. But Boston has 10 important games at the Rogers Centre this season, including their penultimate series of the regular season from Sept. 30-Oct. 2. That series could have some serious playoff ramifications to it, as will the two preceding it.

The Red Sox added pitchers Tyler Danish and John Schreiber to the active roster ahead of Monday's game.

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