Pedroia enjoys win, watching Rivera's final game

Pedroia enjoys win, watching Rivera's final game
July 17, 2013, 1:15 am
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NEW YORK -- Dustin Pedroia's night began earlier than anticipated. It ended with him witnessing history.
Pedroia, who was selected as a reserve, found himself injected into the game, after just three batters. Robinson Cano, who was hit in the knee by a pitch and took his base, but one batter later, had to come out, sending Pedroia in to pinch-run and take over at second.
"It was kind of weird going in right from the beginning," said Pedroia after the 3-0 American League victory over the National League. "I was in panic mode and then I just ran out there. Here we go. But it was a good time. It was fun, getting a chance to play with these guys."
Pedroia got two at-bats in the game -- lining out to right field in the third before being called out on strikes in the sixth.
Though Pedroia was hitless (as was teammate David Ortiz, who flied to center in his first at-bat and hit into a double play in his only other at-bat) there was the consolation that, by virtue of the A.L.'s victory, the Red Sox might benefit in October with home field advantage in the World Series -- should they get that far.
"We talked about it before (the game)," said Pedroia. "It's pretty important for one team that's going to be in the World Series. Hopefully, it's our team. But it's good to win that game."
Other than the potential payoff down the road, Pedroia will remember the game for the final All-Star appearance of Mariano Rivera.
Most times, Rivera is the enemy, pitching for the rival Yankees. But on a night like Tuesday, Pedroia and Rivera were teammates, pulling for the same outcome.
"It was great just getting a chance to talk to him for a little while," said Pedroia. "He's a first-class guy. He deserves everything he's (got) over his career. It was pretty special."
And there was the added benefit that, for a change, Pedroia didn't have to worry about hitting against Rivera.
"It was really nice not to worry about facing him," said Pedroia. "It was cool."