Dustin Pedroia promised over the weekend he would play against the Baltimore Orioles on Tuesday. And there he was, back in the second spot of the lineup and playing second base after missing six games with a muscle tear in his right thumb.
Pedroia was 0 for 3 with a walk and a sacrifice fly in an 8-6, 10-inning loss.
But before he wrote out the lineup, manager Bobby Valentine said he had a “heart to heart conversation” with Pedroia to make sure he was ready to go.
“It was just, ‘Tell me the truth. You’re not allowed to cross your fingers or any of that stuff,’ ” Valentine said. “He said he feels perfect. He has no reservations about doing everything that he has to do on the field.
“There’s no swelling, there’s no pain; there’s 100 percent green light from the training room.”
Pedroia wore a small brace when he batted to keep his thumb from bending back and aggravating the adductor muscle he tore.
“My thumb was good,” Pedroia said. “I just got to get used to the guard and get my timing back a little bit. Other than that I felt fine. My last few at-bats I felt more comfortable.”
The biggest problem Pedroia had was catching a stray elbow in the forehead from David Ortiz in the celebration of Jarrod Saltamacchia’s home run.
“He caught me good,” Pedroia said. “It left a mark.”