BOSTON -- Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia was in an extremely good mood Tuesday afternoon because he’s back in the lineup against the Baltimore Orioles after missing the last six games with a partially torn adductor muscle in his right thumb.
Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine explained that he had a heart-to-heart conversation with Pedroia on Tuesday and the manager wanted to hear the truth on how he was feeling.
“He said he feels perfect,” Valentine said. “He had no reservations about doing everything that he has to do out on the baseball field. There’s no swelling. There’s no pain. There’s a 100 percent green light from the training room.”
Pedroia is sporting a small protective guard around his right thumb and will wear it only when he hits.
When the Red Sox decided to sideline Pedroia, he was hitting .295 with five homers and 21 RBIs in 48 games. Around 2:30 Tuesday afternoon, he was sitting in the dugout at Fenway and was all fired up and ready to go.
Middlebrooks sits again: Rookie third baseman Will Middlebrooks, who sat out Sunday's series finale at Toronto, is out of the lineup again on Tuesday, with Valentine saying it’s only because of the way the lineups have worked out the last few games. The Orioles are throwing a pair of left-handed pitchers the next two days, so Middlebrooks will start in one of those games, according to Valentine. “Physically, he’s more than fine. He’s probably knocking the wall down right now,” the manager said. “These aren’t normal lineups, so it’s good to have him in reserve in case we need a pinch-hitter, and he’s got to understand that’s what happens. It’s life in the big leagues when you’re a young budding star.”
McDonald activated: Outfielder Darnell McDonald (oblique) was activated from the disabled list, filling the roster spot of Daniel Bard, who was sent to Triple-A Pawtucket ... Rehabbing Sox outfielder Ryan Kalish (shoulder/neck) was promoted to Pawtucket from Double-A Portland and will start for the PawSox Tuesday night ... Updates from the rest of the Red Sox’s M*A*S*H unit are as follows: Outfielder Carl Crawford (elbow) has begun to hit on the field, but has not been given clearance to throw. Outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury (shoulder) began to hit off a tee on Monday. Outfielder Cody Ross (foot) also took some swings. Reliever Andrew Bailey (thumb) will begin to throw at 120 feet in the next day or two and believes he’s not too far from mound work.