TORONTO -- Dustin Pedroia is back in the Red Sox lineup on Saturday and while the second baseman is happy to again be on the field, it was nothing compared to the joy he felt on Thursday when he became a father for the second time.
Pedroia's wife, Kelli, gave birth to the couple's second son after spending much of the night in labor. The process began Wednesday evening in Boston during the Red Sox-Yankees game and Pedroia quickly left after being alerted of the news in the seventh inning by manager Bobby Valentine.
"I thought he was going to yell at me because [on an earlier play] that line drive almost hit me in the head," Pedroia said with a laugh. "He was really calm. Usually Bobby just comes out and says it but he was really calm about it. I was like, 'Bobby, man, just spit it out.'"
Pedroia had little time to spend with his new son, as the family returned home from the hospital Friday afternoon and Pedroia was on a flight to Toronto to join the team by Friday evening. It was a reversal of the Pedroias' first birth, when eldest son Dylan was born in August 2009 while the Sox were playing in Toronto, and thus Pedroia's trip home was delayed by customs. He made it to the hospital in time, however, with 20 minutes to spare.
As to be expected, Pedroia admitted that the impending birth had been weighing on his mind "a little bit," particularly during Boston's recent West Coast road trip, when a flight back to Boston would've been much more time-consuming.
"It all worked out great. They're both healthy and it's all I could ask for," Pedroia said.
Newborn Cole was described as almost nine pounds, which Pedroia joked was a good thing, "because Dylan's probably going to beat on him a little bit."
Pedroia has kept up with the Red Sox despite his other preoccupations, saying he watched the rest of Wednesday's game after leaving Fenway Park and also watching Thursday's 2-0 loss to New York. While he admitted that sleep has been hard to come by over the last few days, Pedroia is eager to return.
"I missed being around the guys and doing what I can to help them out so it's good to be back."
With the weight off his mind, Pedroia could be in for a hot streak at the plate. When his first son was born in 2009, Pedroia posted a .362/.404/.511 batting line over his next 11 games.