Pedroia heating up at right time

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Pedroia heating up at right time

CLEVELAND Its no coincidence the Red Sox offensive machine has shown signs of life while its most important cog is firing on all cylinders. Dustin Pedroia collected another multi-hit game in Friday nights 3-2 win over the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field, and factored into all of Bostons runs in the victory.

Pedroia knocked in his teams first run in the fourth inning, and then hopped on base with a one-out single before Cody Ross sent him home with a two-run blast to centerfield in the sixth that proved to be the game-winning knock.

It was the fourth multi-hit game in his last five games, and continued an eight game stretch where hes hitting .417 with seven runs scored in his last eight games. Its the exact kind of white-hot hitting sprees that Pedroia has become known for over the years, and its even more impressive when considering that hes also played the last 15 games in a row for the Sox.

There was plenty of chatter about Ross home run and the trademark bat flip that immediately followed, but none of it would have been possible without Pedroia keeping the inning going.

Its that kind of steady offense and sometimes unheralded contributions in a quiet season for Pedroia that his teammates notice. But its only part of the package as the teams leader tries to will them back into the playoff race.

Pedroia was swinging the bat well tonight. He had a big knock up the middle and then set things up when I hit the home run. This was a big win, said Ross. Hes a catalyst. With Pedroia, Jacoby and Carl at the top of the lineup a lot of stuff can go on. It puts a lot of pressure on the pitcher and the defense.

With him swinging the bat, getting big knocks when we need and big RBIs, we feed off of that. Hes our leader. Hes done a really good job leading.

With the two hits, Dustin Pedroias batting average is all the way up to .275 for the season, and amazingly thats the highest his batting average has been in two months dating back to June 13.

Thats good news for a career .300 hitter thats still a long way away from his customary level of production in the big leagues. But that hasnt stopped Pedroia from trying to will his team to victories at a desperate time in the season.

Thursday’s Red Sox-Rays lineups: Benintendi (DL), Ortiz (day off) out

Thursday’s Red Sox-Rays lineups: Benintendi (DL), Ortiz (day off) out

David Ortiz and Andrew Benintendi are of of the lineup as the Red Sox close out their four-game series, and 11-game road trip, with a matinee (1:10 p.m.) against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg.

Benintendi was placed on the 15-day disabled list Thursday. He sustained a sprained knee while running the bases in the seventh inning of an eventual 11-inning loss to the Rays on Wednesday night. He had MRI Thursday morning and the Red Sox medical staff will review the results when the team returns to Boston. 

It’s a day off for Ortiz, who will be replaced at DH by Hanley Ramirez, who had the night off Wednesday. Travis Shaw starts at first base.

With Benintendi out, Chris Young, who came off the DL on Monday, will start in left field. Left-hander Drew Pomeranz (10-9, 2.95 ERA) is on the mound for the Red Sox, who are trying to take three of four from the Rays to finish the trip 8-3. Right-hander Jake Odorizzi (8-5, 3.63) starts for the Rays. 

RED SOX

Dustin Pedroia 2B

Xander Bogaerts SS

Mookie Betts RF

Hanley Ramirez DH

Jackie Bradley Jr. CF

Chris Young LF

Aaron Hill 3B

Travis Shaw 1B

Bryan Holaday C

Drew Pomeranz LHP

 

RAYS

Logan Forsythe 2B

Kevin Kiermaier CF

Evan Longoria 3B

Brad Miller 1B

Matt Duffy SS

Logan Morrison DH

Scott Souza RF

Mike Mahtook LF

Luke Maile C

Jake Odorizzi RHP

 

 

Red Sox place Benintendi (knee) on 15-day DL

Red Sox place Benintendi (knee) on 15-day DL

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- The Red Sox said Thursday that they still don't have a definitive diagnosis on Andrew Benintendi's injured left knee -- but they know enough to place the rookie outfielder on the disabled list.

Benintendi underwent an MRI Thursday morning and the results were being sent back to the Red Sox medical staff in Boston -- led by team orthopedist Dr. Peter Asnis - to be reviewed.

Marco Hernadnez was recalled from Pawtucket to take Benintendi's spot on the roster.

"The initial read down here was enough to place him on the disabled list,'' said John Farrell. "To what severity the injury is, I don't have that exactly. That will be determined after the review by Dr. Asnis and people back in Boston.''

Benintendi injured his knee on the basepaths in the seventh inning of Wednesday's 4-3 loss to Tampa Bay. The outfielder attempted to elude a tag and return to second base when he wrenched his knee and rolled his ankle.

Asked if Benintendi's injury could be season-ending, Farrell said: "That's probably too early to tell. We're hope that it's not. We've just got to wait and see what comes out of this. And then depending on the findings, what is the safest thing for Andrew to get him back on the field. Optimistically, it's still this year.''

Farrell said there's little swelling and that Benintendi slept fairly well. He also noted that the ankle -- which he rolled -- isn’t a problem.

"Those are the positives,'' he said.

Boston has used seven players in left field this year -- Benintendi, Chris Young, Brock Holt, Blake Swihart, Rusney Castillo, Ryan LaMarre and Bryce Brentz.

Benintendi, Young, Swihart and Holt have all spent time on the DL, leading the manager to refer to the position as a "kind of a Bermuda triangle unfortunately...it's been little bit of a dark hole.''

Farrell said Young will get the majority of playing time in  left, according to Farrell. Holt will also see some playing time, though he won't necessarily play against all right-handers.

Hernandez, meanwhile, will serve as another utility option in the infield.

"We'll mix and match out there,' said Farrell. "But CY will probably get a good portion of the at-bats [in left].’’

Farrell added that, regardless of who gets the playing time in left, the Sox need others in the lineup to step forward.

"We need guys to revert back to their normal contributions,'' Farrell said. "We've been in a dry spell of late...We've got a few guys who are  in a little bit of rut since the All-Star break.''

Shortstop Xander Bogaerts is an obvious example, having gone just 10-for-41 on the long road trip. Jackie Bradley is another who's slumping, with just six hits in his last 36 at-bats. Finally, Travis Shaw is 3-for-20.