The injury train continues to roll over the Red Sox.
Dustin Pedroia left Tuesday night's series-opening 7-5 win against Miami with an apparent hand injury in the seventh inning. Pedroia broke his bat against Ryan Webb, fouling out to first base in the process. The fear is that Pedroia aggravated the torn abductor muscle in his thumb that kept him out for a week at the beginning of June.
"It's 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."
In the fifth, shortstop Mike Aviles led off with a double. Pedroia bunted him over to third, a move that Valentine said Pedroia did on his own. This opens up the question as to whether Pedroia's hand was bothering him earlier in the game, and the broken-bat out was the tipping point.
"I'm not sure what the procedures are from here, but I'm sure we'll take all precautionary measures," Valentine said.
Not that it worried Aviles.
"He's a different breed," Aviles said. "You see him come out, it's not really that big of a deal. He'll be over here, and you've got to fight him to not let him play tomorrow. That's the way he is."
Pedroia was not available to speak after the game.
"I don't know," Aviles said when asked about Pedroia's timetable. "He won't tell me. I'm no different than you guys, I just don't have a microphone. He doesn't tell me anything either, I just turn double plays with the guy."
Ross strong in return
In his first game back since going on the disabled list after fracturing the navicular bone in his left foot at Philadelphia on May 18, Cody Ross smashed a fourth-inning homer off Mark Buerhle that gave the Sox a 5-4 lead.
"Definitely nice to be back out there, and be back out there with the guys, just feel like part of a team," Ross said. "When you're on the DL, you almost feel like you're not part of the team, you're not a good teammate almost. You can only do so much cheering."
Ross also had some words of encouragement for fellow outfielder Ryan Kalish, who dropped a Jose Reyes fly ball hit off Matt Albers in the seventh that resulted in a three-base error.
"He's such a good outfielder," Ross said. "This place can get the best of you. I've had my troubles out there as well, and I just told him that. I said, listen, we all drop flyballs, I've misplayed a few balls, it happens. Shake it off, and we're going to get out of it right here."
Bullpen solid again
Left to protect a two-run lead, the Boston bullpen continued to flash its consistency. Four relievers combined for three scoreless frames when starter Clay Buchholz departed after six innings.
In the seventh, Albers struck out Hanley Ramirez and got Giancarlo Stanton to fly out to left after Kalish's error, and Andrew Miller, summoned to face the lefty Logan Morrison, who drove in all five Marlins runs, induced a flyout to center that Kalish tracked down.
"Outstanding job, stranding runners, getting big ground balls when they need to, just shutting the door on some pretty good hitters," Ross said. "It's been a real treat to play behind them. It's something that they knew they were better than what they showed in the beginning, and they're proving it."
Vincente Padilla pitched a scoreless eighth, allowing only a single to Omar Infante, and has now gone eight appearances without allowing a run. Since May 6, Padilla is sporting a 1.65 ERA.
Alfredo Aceves picked up his 17th save, fanning John Buck and Ramirez in the ninth.
"They've been doing good," Albers said of the relief corps. "Obviously each of us has been able to pitch pretty well, nobody's getting overworked, we kind of pick each other up. Guys have been pitching a lot and then get a day off, so I think that's helped.