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Red Sox Notebook

Pedroia awaits removing day

Screw to come out at season’s end

By Peter Abraham
Globe Staff / April 8, 2011

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CLEVELAND — Dustin Pedroia is comfortable enough to play the remainder of the season. But the Red Sox second baseman said yesterday that he plans to have the stainless steel screw in his left foot removed once the team has played its final game.

“I’m good to go right now,’’ he said. “I’ll find a way to get through this year and right after the last game it’s coming out. It’s kind of annoying.’’

Pedroia had surgery in August to repair a broken navicular bone. The screw expedited the healing and assured he would be ready to play this season. But there is still discomfort.

“Sometimes I can feel it just walking around,’’ Pedroia said. “It’s on the side of my foot and I can feel it when I wear dress shoes or when it’s cold. It’s one of those things where I can’t wait to get it out.’’

Pedroia said the same surgeon who put in the screw, George Theodore, will take it out.

“I’ll walk out of there after I get it done,’’ Pedroia said. “I won’t be able to run for four weeks, which is normal anyway after the season. I’ll just wait for that hole to heal up and I’ll be fine.

“It’s pretty simple, a small incision and they’ll take it out. Then I’ll throw that thing away.’’

Aceves on the way The Sox will make their first roster move of the season today when they call up righthander Alfredo Aceves from Triple A Pawtucket, according to a major league source. He will replace Matt Albers, who is headed for the disabled list with a sore lat muscle behind his shoulder.

Albers has thrown two scoreless innings in two appearances this season, allowing two walks and striking out three. Aceves, 28, was one of the last cuts of spring training. He was 3-0 with a 3.00 ERA in 10 outings for the Yankees last season. He is 14-1, 3.21 in 59 career appearances over parts of three seasons with New York.

Youkilis slumping Kevin Youkilis had a double in his first at-bat of the season. He is 1 for 18 since. The third baseman was 0 for 4 in yesterday’s 1-0 loss against the Indians. He has one RBI this season.

“Normally when he’s good, he gets to two strikes and he stays through the ball so well,’’ manager Terry Francona said. “Right now he’s pulling of a couple of those breaking balls. You see him pull some of those fastballs into the camera pit. A lot out front. The first couple of swings in Texas, he drove the ball to right field. When he’s doing that, that’s when he’s covering everything.’’

Youkilis did not get the ball out of the infield yesterday, striking out once, grounding out twice, and hitting a soft liner.

“If you’re not seeing the ball real good it’s kind of hard to have good mechanics because you’re rushing,’’ Francona said. “It’s back and forth. If you see the ball good, which is what we’re always telling guys, good hitters, their mechanics will fall into line. That ball gets up on you in a hurry and you feel like you rush or don’t get started. That’s when you run into problems.’’

It doesn’t rock Cleveland once had the best fans in the game, selling out Progressive Field for 455 consecutives games from June 12, 1995 to April 4, 2001. But the Indians were last in attendance in the American League last season and drew only 29,142 to the three-game series against the Sox.

Not one Red Sox player or staff member requested a ticket for yesterday’s game. Team officials said it was the first time in memory that has happened.

Francona was a special assistant on the baseball operations staff in Cleveland in 2001.

“I marveled at everybody that came to the ballpark had Cleveland stuff on,’’ he said. “I’d walk through the ballpark and everybody had Cleveland stuff . . . They have a challenge in front of them [now]. They have good people doing it. For a lot of young players, they don’t realize what this place was.’’

The Red Sox have broken Cleveland’s record and carry a 631-game sellout streak into today’s home opener against the Yankees, which is sold out.

“People forget how quickly it can kind of come and go. That’s why I hope we’re appreciative of what’s going on with us. We haven’t played a game that’s not sold out. That’s unbelievable,’’ Francona said.

Here’s the pitch Jim Calhoun, who coached the UConn to the NCAA men’s basketball title Monday night, will throw out the first pitch at Fenway tomorrow . . . Former Red Sox great and Hall of Famer Bobby Doerr turned 93 yesterday . . . The Sox were swept in a three-game series by Cleveland for the first time since Aug. 28-30, 2001 . . . Francona, at least, had some pep in his step before the game. He said his breakfast consisted of 12 strips of bacon, a can of Red Bull, and a bottle of Five-Hour Energy . . . The Sox last lost a 1-0 game July 25, 2008, against the Yankees.

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