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.