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Red Sox Notebook

Thumbs down on Pedroia

He aggravates thumb injury

By Michael Vega
Globe Staff / June 20, 2012
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Dustin Pedroia left Tuesday’s 7-5 victory over the Marlins after popping to first in the seventh inning. He was replaced by Nick Punto in the field for the eighth.

Pedroia appeared to aggravate the right thumb injury he suffered May 28 in his last at-bat against reliever Ryan Webb.

“It’s more third-hand [information] but he was more fearful than he was injured,’’ manager Bobby Valentine said. “The ball was an inside pitch that pushed the bat back in his hand the way he didn’t want it to be pushed back.

“It was about 95 miles per hour, and he seemed to think it was a reoccurrence. So we’ll see how it is tomorrow.’’

Pedroia had suffered a torn adductor muscle in this right thumb, which forced him to miss six games.

“[General manager] Ben [Cherington] talked to the trainers and to Dustin, I guess, during the game and I’m not sure what the procedures are from here,’’ Valentine said. “But I’m sure we’ll take all precautionary measures.’’

Asked if there was any concern Pedroia’s thumb injury could linger for the remainder of the season, David Ortiz replied, “Hopefully not . . . Hopefully not.’’

Ortiz defends house

The talk in the Red Sox clubhouse prior to the game revolved around Buster Olney’s piece on ESPN.com that described it as a “toxic’’ environment.

Ortiz was quick to rebut Olney’s report.

“It’s not like that, dog,’’ said Ortiz, who hit a two-run homer off Mark Buehrle in the first inning Tuesday night. “We all get along here. There’s not one guy here that has a problem with the other.

“We got a bus that we all have to [ride] and you should see that bus when we’re riding on it. If there’s anything ‘toxic’ between the players, I couldn’t really tell you, because I’m a guy in control of this [clubhouse], so he’s wrong when it comes down to that, I can tell you that.

“In this clubhouse right here, there’s not one guy who is not going at it - not one. There used to be, but not anymore. There used to be a lot of confusion, going on back and forth about different things, different subjects. That ain’t happening now.

“Everybody’s on the same page right now. We’re just waiting for the guys with injuries to come back so our team can get in the beast mode, and that’s about it.’’

Asked for his reaction to the report, manager Bobby Valentine said, “I don’t know how to define ‘toxic.’ It’s too big a word for me. I don’t even comment on people’s articles. I don’t even comment on your articles. Why would I comment on someone that I don’t think knows anything?

“You guys are here every day.’’

Josh Beckett offered his summation: “Completely fabricated.’’

Beckett, who spoke to the media for the first time since going on the disabled list over the weekend with shoulder inflammation, added, “I don’t know where people get that from. I think people want that to be the case, and I just don’t think it is. I think there are certain people, they want it to be that way, so they report it that way.’’

Beckett said this is “one of the tightest-knit groups’’ he has ever been a part of, pointing to team dinners and family trips as an example.

Said Ortiz, “Players, when they walk into this clubhouse, they look around and they want to adjust themselves to what is going on here. So that’s how things are in this clubhouse. And, trust me, if you need to figure it out, somebody will let you know.’’

A smashing return

Cody Ross, who had been out nearly a month after fracturing the navicular bone of his left foot May 19, returned to the lineup after completing a two-game rehab stint with Pawtucket.

“I felt great,’’ said Ross, who went 1 for 7 in Triple A. “I tested every single thing you could test with my foot. Everything went really smooth. I felt great, my timing actually felt good. I didn’t get as many hits as one would expect, but I felt like I squared the ball up.’’

Ross homered in his first game back, hitting a solo shot into the Green Monster seats in the fourth to give the Sox a 5-3 lead.

To make room for Ross, the Sox placed outfielder Scott Podsednik on the 15-day DL after the outfielder tweaked his left groin running out a ground ball out in Sunday night’s victory over Chicago.

“Scott’s not real happy about it,’’ Valentine said. “He thinks seven days would be fine, and he’s playing so well that I’d love to have him in there, but I think this is the right thing to do.’’

Crawford progressing

Carl Crawford continued throwing Tuesday, and said he hoped to begin game action soon. “Everything feels like it’s coming along fine,’’ he said. “At some point, I’ll get out of here and go down to Fort Myers and start playing games, get on the fast track, and try to get back up here so I can get back in the lineup.’’ Said Valentine, “He’s close. I would expect next week, if not sooner.’’ . . . Jacoby Ellsbury took early batting practice, then practiced running to first and worked on his takeoff moves to second. “I saw him [Monday], he swung real well, swung about 20 times and did both live work and tee work today,’’ Valentine said. “He feels good and that’s very encouraging.’’ Asked how close Ellsbury was to taking the next step, Valentine said, “He’s close to game activities. I don’t mean tomorrow, but it’s close.’’ . . . Andrew Bailey was back with the team and is expected to throw a mound session in Boston before heading down to Fort Myers for another mound session before pitching a simulated inning. “Then off to a rehab assignment,’’ Valentine said . . . Asked if Franklin Morales’s impressive spot start for Beckett Sunday gave the team any reason to reevaluate his role, Valentine said, “To answer that bell and fill that void was huge. When you say would we consider making him a starter going forward, he’s a starter as we speak and that’s how he’ll be evaluated.’’

Michael Vega can be reached at vega@globe.com. Globe correspondent Alex Prewitt contributed to this report.

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