BOSTON (CBS) – Dustin Pedroia is back with the Red Sox, activated Thursday afternoon for the team’s series finale against the Chicago White Sox.
Pedroia, who missed 11 games with a thumb injury suffered on July 3 in Oakland, will bat third and return to second base. Thursday was the first day Pedroia was eligible to come of the DL.
“I feel great. The thumb problems the last few months have healed and I’m ready to get out there and play ball,” Pedroia said before the game. “I can’t wait to get out there and play again; hopefully bring a lot of energy to the team. Hopefully we go on a big run here.”
Pedroia On Return:
Pedroia told WBZ-TV’s Steve Burton he wouldn’t let the injury creep back into his mind at all.
“I’m not thinking about it one time. I’m just going out there trying to get in the flow of the game and playing the best I can,” he said.
In 32 games batting third, Pedroia is 37-for-134 (.276 average) with six doubles, three home runs and 12 RBI.
“I’m anxious to see him around the diamond. I’ve seen him running around the dugout the last few weeks and he’s looked a little out of place,” said manager Bobby Valentine. “He’s everything, so hopefully he’ll bring it all tonight.”
In 74 games this season, Pedroia is hitting .266 with six homer runs and 33 RBI.
Carl Crawford will remain in the two-hole, where he’s hit since his return from the DL on Monday.
To make room for Pedroia, Mauro Gomez has been sent back down to Triple-A Pawtucket. Gomez was recalled on Wednesday when David Ortiz was placed on the 15-day DL with a heel injury.
Here is the full Red Sox lineup for Thursday’s game:
1. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
2. Carl Crawford, LF
3. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
4. Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
5. Cody Ross, RF
6. Will Middlebrooks, 3B
7. Kelly Shoppach, C
8. Mike Aviles, SS
9. Pedro Ciriaco, DH
Clay Buchholz (8-3, 5.54 ERA) is on the hill for the Red Sox, opposed by left-hander Jose Quintana (4-1, 2.60) of Chicago.