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Pedroia helps bats break out

7/31/2013

BOSTON -- A week removed from signing a seven-year, $100 million contract extension with the Boston Red Sox, second baseman Dustin Pedroia has been mired in a slump that saw his batting average fall below .300 over the weekend for the first time since May 7.

However, the Red Sox got their bang for their buck Tuesday night.

In the midst of a 1-for-22 stretch since signing his new deal, Pedroia broke out of his slump, going 2-for-4 with a home run and three RBIs in an 8-2 win over the Seattle Mariners. The three RBIs tied a season high for the second baseman (May 19 against the Minnesota Twins, July 9 against Seattle).

“It was good,” Pedroia said of his night at the plate. “Just keep plugging away. You go through streaks where you don’t feel well or hit the ball at people, so you’ve got to just keep going.”

With several line outs and hard-hit balls over the weekend in Baltimore, Pedroia has seemed to be one break away from turning the page on his recent slump. That break may have come in the first inning Tuesday when Mariners shortstop Brad Miller committed a throwing error that allowed Pedroia to reach first. He scored following a passed ball and David Ortiz single.

In Pedroia's next at-bat, he hit a two-run home run just over the Green Monster in left, his seventh of the year and first since July 9.

Catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia wasn’t surprised by the turn of events.

“Pedey’s such a professional, as a teammate you know it’s going to happen,” Saltalamacchia said. “For him, it was probably a little frustrating but it’s nothing he’s not done before.”

Not to be outdone, Saltalamacchia hit a towering home run to center field in the eighth inning off Seattle reliever Brandon Maurer. The home run was his first since June 9, a span of 123 at-bats.

“I forgot how it felt until I hit it,” Saltalamacchia said. “I’m just trying to be consistent with at-bats and not to give any away.”

A night after his team was held to one run or less for the fourth time in seven games, Pedroia was happy with the offensive outburst.

“We swung the bats great,” he said. “It was good after last night, we didn’t really swing the bats that well. To come out and score some runs and have some long at-bats, we did good.”