BOSTON (CBS) — Dustin Pedroia’s comeback took another big step on Monday night.
Pedroia began his two-week stay in the minors with the PawSox on Monday, hitting third and going 1-for-3 in his five-inning debut. He handled his only defensive chance during an uneventful evening at second base, fielding a popup.
Pedroia flied out to right in his first at-bat in the bottom of the first. He led off the fourth inning by lacing a single to right field and later scored on an RBI ground out by Ramon Flores. He grounded out to second in the bottom of the fifth in his final at-bat of the evening.
The Boston second baseman is making his way down the comeback trail after undergoing cartilage restoration surgery on his left knee last October. He’s happy to be back on the field after a long rehab, and said his knee felt great during Monday night’s game.
“After I got out there in the first inning, I didn’t think about my knee one time,” Pedroia told reporters in Pawtucket. “That’s when you kind of know you’re good. So just continue going. Hopefully tomorrow I feel better than I did today and get after it.”
Pedroia said the biggest issue during his comeback has been running, and a setback recently cost him about a week. But he’s confident that he’s on target for a Memorial Day return.
“I’m fine now. I don’t have any issues,”he said. “I think the work that we put in to get to this point, that’s the reason why. You’re going to see the same guy you’ve seen play for however many years I’ve played.”
Pedroia played in just 105 games last season, slashing .293/.369/.392 with 19 doubles and seven homers. Boston has relied mostly on Eduardo Nunez in his absence this season, with Brock Holt also getting the occasional start at second base.