BOSTON Since returning to the lineup on Tuesday, after missing six games because of a torn adductor muscle in his right thumb, Dustin Pedroia has gone 2-for-20 with a run scored, two RBI, two walks and seven strikeouts. His average has dropped from .295 to .277 in that span.
His sixth-inning single Friday night against Stephen Strasburg snapped an 0-for-14 slide.
Saturday, he went 1-for-4 with a sixth-inning single against Nationals lefty Gio Gonzalez.
Pedroia came to the plate with two outs and the Red Sox rallying in the seventh -- with two runs in already in the inning, now down by two runs, having knocked Gonzalez out of the game.
But Pedroia popped out to first baseman Adam LaRoche in foul territory to end the rally.
"He's got great effort, and I think they're pitching him really tough, said manager Bobby Valentine. He hasn't got a lot of great pitches to hit. And the ones that he's gotten, his timing's just been off a little."
Pedroia insists hes feeling better at the plate, seconding his managers opinion that he just needs to work on getting his timing back.
I feel alright, Pedroia said. Timings still a little off. A little late on the heater and early on off-speed pitches. But Ill have one at-bat where it clicks and take off.
His timing being off is just a factor of the time he had off, he said.
Yeah, thats it, he said. The past few days Ive hit the ball actually pretty good. Today I really didnt, but the last few days. But I got to start finding a way to get on base and help us score runs.
The 4-2 loss to the Nationals on Saturday was the Sox fifth in the last six games, dropping them under .500, at 29-30, for the first time since May 27. Its not a team slump, Pedroia said, just a matter of facing good pitching.
The last two guys Gonzalez and Stephen Strasburg were pretty darn good, he said. So we got to come out and find a way to have better at-bats and score runs for our guy.
He insists hes fine physically, the brace hes been wearing is not hindering him, and the thumb is fine.
Ill be alright, he said. Ill get hits, dont worry.