Pedroia lets his play do the talking

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Pedroia lets his play do the talking

BALTIMORE With a group of reporters huddled around his locker in the visiting clubhouse at Camden Yards, Dustin Pedroia finished putting on his jacket, popped in his ear buds and stone-facedly walked past every questioner on his way out to the Red Sox team bus.

Pedroia had collected two hits, scored a run, knocked in another run and sparked the Red Sox offense with his antics, energy and uncanny ability to make plays that win ballgames. He did just that in the fifth inning when he tagged up from third and just barely beat an Adam Jones thrown from center field that arrived at home plate just on time.

Hes trying to leave it on the field every single night," manager Bobby Valentine said. "Hes that competitor that makes a team go. He never stops. He hits all pitches. He makes all plays. How hes not on an All-Star team player every year is beyond me. I know this year it was because of the thumb thing, of course.

Thats one of the best arms in the league and it was shallow center field. It seems like he can run just as fast as he has to to be safe. Thats pretty special.

If Pedroia had been gunned down there, it could have been a gut punch for the Sox. Instead, Pedroia scored, let out a primal scream, pumped his feet and immediately lifted the energy in his own dugout en route to a 6-3 win over the Orioles.

I dont know how much more energy he could bring because if he did then he would probably die, said Jarrod Saltalamacchia. He wants to win. The same thing as everybody, but hes the little guy that just goes hard all the time. Its something you can always feed off of. Its fun to watch him play.

His play spoke for itself, and his quiet exit from the clubhouse left his teammates to fill in the blanks with compliments, attaboys and verbal bouquets of all shapes and sizes. Perhaps hes keeping silent now after he was leveled by sharp criticism and harsh accusations in the Yahoo! Sports story accounting players attempting to get Bobby Valentine fired. Perhaps hes just done talking, aside from his play on the field.

He plays as hard as anybody Ive ever seen, said Cody Ross. Even on the ball that I hit to left field that he scored on, he was halfway to third by the time the ball got to the fielders glove and hes trucking as hard as he can.

Hes doing it with the bat too. Its a lot of fun when hes on his game.

Whatever the case hell need to be one of the pivotal guys if things are going to start changing for a Sox team that needs to play .750 baseball the rest of the way. The Sox need accountability, they need urgency and they need non-stop energy and Pedroia brings all those things when its harnessed in one direction.

Sandoval happy to return to the field after shoulder surgery

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Sandoval happy to return to the field after shoulder surgery

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- For the first time in months, Pablo Sandoval met up with his Red Sox teammates Wednesday, breaking from his rehab program two hours away in Fort Myers.

Sandoval, who underwent shoulder surgery in April to repair a torn labrum, has been working out six days per week at the club's spring training complex and appeared noticeably lighter.

"I just starting taking ground balls two days ago,'' said Sandoval. "I feel a little better. I'm happy to be back here with my teammates and happy that I'm starting to work in the field.'' 

Sandoval said his surgically repaired left shoulder is "not back to normal, but it's feeling a lot better. I've started doing a lot of things in the field -- ground balls, playing catch, handling the ball, working out.''

He plans to see Dr. James Andrews soon, and hopes to get clearance to start swinging a bat.

Sandoval appeared to make some veiled references to his weight and conditioning, saying "you learn a lot. You learn from all the mistakes you make, all the things in the past. I have good people around me, supporting me every single day.''

He added that he feels "way different'' than he did in spring training.

"Now that I've learned my lesson,'' he said, "I can do a better job out there. Everything out there is not easy. You have to work hard to learn all the things you were doing wrong. I'll keep working hard and do everything I can to be a better person on the field and off the field.''

As he grinds through conditioning and rehab, Sandoval said he's motivated by "my little boy (Leon). Every time I wake up, I want to do everything for (him), so he can see me back on the field, playing baseball.''

He deflected a question when asked what role he envisioned for himself next February at the start of spring training.

"Whatever,'' he said. "I'm just going to do best that I can. I just want to prepare myself to be better next year.''

Sandoval met with John Farrell Wednesday afternoon.

"He's in good spirits,'' Farrell said. "I think he feels good with all the work he's done. To date, he's done a good job with what he's been capable of doing. The one thing that's clear in getting to know Pablo, I see a guy who's got a lot of pride. Maybe things haven't worked out the way he anticipated through the first two years.

"But it's clear through my conversation with him that he's motivated, he feels like he's got a lot to prove. And I think when you combine his ability with the drive and motivation, this has got a chance to prove to be a productive player here in Boston.''

Meanwhile, Sandoval acknowledged that the Red Sox had not seen him at his best in his two seasons with the club.

"I know that I can prove more and do a better job out there,'' he said. "Things happen for a reason. I'm happy, but I'm not satisfied with the things I'm doing. I'm just going to keep working hard, continue my rehab and be better for next year.''

Sandoval said he misses the game, but watches the Red Sox on TV "every single day.''

"This (time down) is a bonus for me,'' he said. "I want to play, but at the same time, I (get) to see my baby growing up.''

 

All signs point to Rodriguez returning to rotation Sunday, Buchholz to bullpen

All signs point to Rodriguez returning to rotation Sunday, Buchholz to bullpen

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- It won't be made official until Thursday, but all signs point to Eduardo Rodriguez returning to the Red Sox' starting rotation Sunday night against the Kansas City Royals.

That, in turn, should also result in Clay Buchholz going back to the bullpen after three spot starts recently.

Rodriguez, who pulled himself out of his last scheduled start Sunday in Detroit when he wasn't confident that he could compete with a strained left hamstring, threw a three-inning simulated game Tuesday and emerged from that session convinced that he was heading toward a return to the rotation.

But just to make sure, the Sox want Rodriguez to test himself physically Thursday morning before the Sox complete their road trip with a game here Thursday afternoon.

"He went through some aggressive long toss today,'' said John Farrell of Rodriguez, "and came out that feeling fine, no restrictions in the hamstring. We'll take this each work day at a time. Once we get through tomorrow, we'll have a little bit more clarity going forward.''

Buchholz threw 94 pitches while allowing a run on five hits over 6 1/3 innings Tuesday night, so he wouldn't be available out of the bullpen for a few days.

"He's going to need a couple of days down regardless,'' noted Farrell.

 

Wednesday's Red Sox-Rays lineups: Ramirez gets night off

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Wednesday's Red Sox-Rays lineups: Ramirez gets night off

Hanley Ramirez is getting a night off as the Red Sox look for their third straight win against the Rays tonight at Tropicana Field.

Travis Shaw will play first base, with Brock Holt at third.

Tonight's lineups:

RED SOX:
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Xander Bogaerts SS
David Ortiz DH
Mookie Betts RF
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF
Sandy Leon C
Brock Holt 3B
Travis Shaw 1B
Andrew Benintendi LF
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Rick Porcello P

RAYS:
Logan Forsythe 2B
Kevin Kiermaier CF
Evan Longoria 3B
Brad Miller SH
Matt Duffy SS
Logan Morrison 1B
Steven Souza Jr. RF
Corey Dickerson LF
Bobby Wilson C
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Matt Andriese P