BOSTON -- The Red Sox are taking the cautious approach with Dustin Pedroia and his injured right thumb.The Sox are waiting for the swelling to subside in the torn abductor muscle in his right thumb before they make a decision on the next step. They can either put him on the disabled list or, if the injury is deemed not too severe, they could wait it out in the hope that he would be ready before 15 days are up.Pedroia said he injured the thumb about three weeks ago and exacerbated it in his last at-bat on Monday.In the Sox clubhouse before the third game of the four-game set against the Tigers, Pedroia showed two protective splints he has. One, a hard plastic white cast, is for normal use. The other, a slightly more flexible black cast that is molded to fit a bat, he will use if and when he is able to take swings.Manager Bobby Valentine said Pedroia has not taken any swings yet.We dont want him to, Valentine said. He did yesterday before we told him not to. And he always obeys.The last statement was made facetiously. Valentine knows Pedroia will do everything he can to stay in the lineup.We talked with Dustin his afternoon, Valentine said. Theres an absolute situation thats in place. And then we might start considering options. But were day to day.Part of this situation is the swelling, the actual physical appearance of the injury. And I think we could all see that. And then theres opinions of the medical staff. Then theres Dustins opinion, I guess. And you take everything into consideration.Asked if one party might have more say in the matter than others, Valentine replied:Well, were going to let some higher beings make that decision. And God hasnt returned a phone call yet but Ive been promised He will.But the second basemans current status leaves the Sox short-handed with middle infielders. Nick Punto is in the starting lineup again, batting ninth, playing second base.The Sox options for middle infielders off the bench?Kelly Shoppach came down with a fielders glove the other night and Salty has taken ground balls, Valentine said.How comfortable is the manager with the possibility of either of his catchers playing in the middle of the infield?Warm and fuzzy all over, he said.Kevin Youkilis, who is in the starting lineup at first base tonight, has played four total games in his career at second base, both in 2005. He played two with the Sox for a total of seven innings, getting two chances, with two assists and no errors, and two with Triple-A Pawtucket getting 10 chances, making five putouts with four assists and one error.
Dustin Pedroia talks with Trenni Kusnierek about the Boston Red Sox winning the A.L. East title, and the team hoping to send Ortiz out a champion. ll
NEW YORK -- It had the potential to be the most awkward celebration ever.
In the top of the ninth inning at Yankee Stadium, before their game was complete, the Red Sox became American League East champions, by virtue of one other division rival -- Baltimore -- coming back to beat another -- Toronto -- in the ninth inning.
That eliminated the Blue Jays from the division race, and made the Sox division champs.
But that ninth inning reversal of fortune was about to visit the Red Sox, too.
Craig Kimbrel faced four hitters and allowed a single and three straight walks, leading to a run. When, after 28 pitches, he couldn't get an out, he was lifted for Joe Kelly, who recorded one out, then yielded a walk-off grand slam to Mark Teixeira.
The Yankees celebrated wildly on the field, while the Red Sox trudged into the dugout, beset with mixed emotions.
Yes, they had just lost a game that seemed theirs. But they also had accomplished something that had taken 158 games.
What to do?
The Sox decided to drown their temporary sorrows in champagne.
"As soon as we got in here,'' said Jackie Bradley Jr., "we quickly got over it.''
From the top of the eighth until the start of the bottom of the ninth, the Red Sox seemed headed in a conventional celebration.
A two-run, bases-loaded double by Mookie Betts and a wild pitch -- the latter enabling David Ortiz to slide into home and dislodge the ball from former teammate Tommy Layne's glove --- had given the Sox a 3-0 lead.
Koji Uehara worked around a walk to post a scoreless walk and after the top of the ninth, the Sox called on Craig Kimbrel, who had successfully closed out all but two save opportunities all season.
But Kimbrel quickly allowed a leadoff single to Brett Gardner and then began pitching as though he forgot how to throw strikes. Three straight walks resulted in a run in and the bases loaded.
Joe Kelly got an out, but then Teixeira, for the second time this week, produced a game-winning homer in the ninth. On Monday, he had homered in Toronto to turn a Blue Jays win into a loss, and now, here he was again.
It may have been a rather meaningless victory for the Yankees -- who remain barely alive for the wild card -- but it did prevent them the indignity of watching the Red Sox celebrate on their lawn.
Instead, the Sox wore the shame of the walk-off -- at least until they reached their clubhouse, where the partying began in earnest.
It had taken clubhouse attendants less than five minutes to cover the floor and lockers with plastic protective sheets. In a matter of a few more minutes, the air was filled with a mix of beer and bubbly.
President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski wore a goggles and only socks on his feet.
As the spray reached every inch of the clubhouse, David Ortiz exclaimed: "I'm going to drown in this man.''
Defeat? What defeat?