Pedroia and Youkilis return to game action


Pedroia and Youkilis return to game action

By SeanMcAdam

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Thanks to injuries last season, Kevin Youkilis (thumb) hadn't been in a game since last Aug. 2 and Dustin Pedroia (broken foot) played just twice after last June 25.

Saturday, both were back in action, and even though the opponent was Boston College, were happy to be in a competitive situation again.

"It's just nice to see both of them on the field,'' said Terry Francona, "running around and looking healthy.''

Youkilis made an immediate impact in the Sox' 6-0 win, making a diving, backhand stop on the second hitter of the game, then adding a three-run, opposite-field homer in the bottom of the inning.

"I think just making it through the game and feeling good (was my goal),'' said Youkils. "Probably the worst thing was I think I peaked too early. But it was good to get back out there.''

Youkilis is returning to third base after spending most of the last five seasons playing first and it didn't take long for him to get tested.

"I'd rather have those than the ones that are right at you,'' said Youkilis, "where you have more time and they can eat you up. But it was great to make a play like that and get it out of the way. But there are going to be more plays down the road and balls I'm going to boot around. That's part of being a third baseman.''

Pedroia was 0-for-1 with a walk and a run scored.

In the second, the second baseman hit a grounder over the mound that shortstop Anthony Melchionda snared, running toward second, then fired to first to nab Pedroia at first.

"It felt good,'' said Pedroia of his foot. "I haven't done that in a long time. It felt fine. We'll see how it feels (Sunday).''

Sean McAdam can be reached at Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam

Betts and Bradley Jr. combine for seven RBI, Red Sox roll to 9-2 win


Betts and Bradley Jr. combine for seven RBI, Red Sox roll to 9-2 win

The Boston Red Sox put up six runs in the first inning and coasted to a 9-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday night.

Mookie Betts and Jackie Bradley Jr. led the way for the Red Sox with four and three RBI respectfully. Both outfielders had two-run home runs in the Sox’ big first inning.

Knuckleballer Steven Wright gave up one earned run in four innings, his ERA for the spring is now 0.68.

The Red Sox are back in action again on Wednesday at 1:05 p.m when Rick Porcello makes his final spring training start against the Minnesota Twins.

Hernandez has chance at Red Sox opening day roster after Rutledge injury

Hernandez has chance at Red Sox opening day roster after Rutledge injury

Infielder Marco Hernandez may make the Red Sox roster after all.

Fellow infielder Josh Rutledge, the presumptive 25th man on the Red Sox, suffered a left hamstring strain on Tuesday against the Pirates, according to reporters in Florida, including Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald.

If Rutledge isn’t ready for opening day, Hernandez, a left-handed hitter, may have his crack. 

The question is whether the Sox would be comfortable without a right-handed bat to complement both Pablo Sandoval and Mitch Moreland on the corners. Rutledge was going to give the Sox that right-handed look they sought. (When Hanley Ramirez's shoulder will be healthy enough to play first base is unclear, but isn't expected to be too long.)

Neither Rutledge nor Hernandez has played first base in the majors or minors.

A big-league rookie last year, Hernandez has done decently against lefties at the upper levels of the minors, hitting .328 vs. them at Triple-A Pawtucket last season in 67 at-bats. He hit .315 in 54 at-bats at Pawtucket, with a .318 average against them that season in 88 at-bats for Double-A Portland.

Rutledge is a Rule 5 draft pick who has to remain on the major league 25-man roster the whole season or the Sox risk losing him. Placement on the disabled list doesn’t affect his status unless he’s on the disabled list for a very lengthy time.

An alternative option is Steve Selsky, who has first-base experience, but he's already been optioned.