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Orioles 8, Red Sox 3: Baltimore leaves Boston with series split that raises questions about No. 5 spot in rotation 05.04.17 at 10:35 pm ET
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Orioles third baseman Manny Machado is greeted by third base coach Bobby Dickerson after hitting a three-run homer against the Red Sox on Thursday. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

Orioles third baseman Manny Machado is greeted by third base coach Bobby Dickerson after hitting a three-run homer against the Red Sox on Thursday. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

Kyle Kendrick made his pitch for the Red Sox rotation. Unfortunately, Manny Machado hit it onto Newbury Street.

The Red Sox have some decisions to make at the back of their rotation now that we know Steven Wright will miss the season following knee surgery.

The top four of Chris Sale, Rick Porcello, Eduardo Rodriguez, and Drew Pomeranz have generally pitched quite well. If the season ended today, Sale would be the Cy Young winner, E-Rod might be an All-Star, and Porcello and Pomeranz would’ve pulled their weight.

With the offense still struggling to find its footing, however, the Red Sox need consistency from all five sports in their rotation, and Kendrick’s performance on Thursday night in an 8-3 loss to the Orioles has introduced uncertainty into the equation.

In a perfect world, rehabbing left-hander David Price will return in a month or so and make this problem a temporary one. Price threw before the game and looked like he’s actually progressing in his return from a spring training elbow injury, tossing three simulated innings, producing weak contact, and hitting 95 mph with his last pitch, according to president Dave Dombrowski.

With Wright officially finished for 2017, the Red Sox must sort through their internal options. Kendrick didn’t necessarily earn himself a second start by being around the plate too much with underwhelming stuff, which finally caught up to him during Baltimore’s five-run fourth.

He allowed eight hits and six runs in four innings, and those totals pretty accurately reflect the quality of his stuff.

So where do the Red Sox turn next after splitting with the Orioles? Henry Owens owns a 1.35 ERA and is unbeaten, but don’t let those numbers fool you. He’s walking over six batters per nine innings and we’ve already played that game in the big leagues.

That leaves fellow lefty Brian Johnson as the most likely choice. Johnson is 1-0 with a 2.28 ERA at Triple-A Pawtucket. He has overcome anxiety to resume his career, and would like nothing better than to improve on his only two big league starts (9 1/3 IP, 10 H, 7 BB, 9 Ks, 7.71 ERA).

After that? Pray for Price and hope the Red Sox don’t lose Pomeranz, who started spring training with a sore arm but has since pitched well, albeit it in five-inning stints.

The Red Sox have the resources to trade for a depth starting option, but they’d prefer to save those resources, because in case you haven’t noticed, third base is a disaster.

But we’ll cross these problems off our list one at a time.

Shattering Perceptions Game Note Image
There was one tiny piece of good news — second baseman Dustin Pedroia blasted his first home run of the season, ending a drought that dates back to Sept. 25. Courtesy Red Sox broadcaster Tim Neverett, Pedroia now has exactly 134 homers and 134 steals in his career.

Read More: Dustin Pedroia, Kyle Kendrick, manny machado, Orioles
Red Sox lineup: Jackie Bradley Jr. out, Dustin Pedroia back to batting 1st 05.03.17 at 3:21 pm ET
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Dustin Pedroia is back in the lead off spot. (Kim Klement/USA Today Sports)

Dustin Pedroia is back in the lead off spot. (Kim Klement/USA Today Sports)

The Red Sox are making a few lineup changes for Game 3 of a four-game set against the Orioles.

Jackie Bradley Jr. will get the night off, which means Andrew Benintendi will play center field and Chris Young left field against Orioles right-hander Kevin Gausman.

Dustin Pedroia will move back to the lead off spot with Xander Bogaerts sliding down to fifth.

Christian Vazquez will catch Red Sox left-hander Drew Pomeranz.

Here is the complete Red Sox lineup.

Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Andrew Benintendi, CF
Mookie Betts, RF
Hanley Ramirez, DH
Xander Bogaerts, SS
Mitch Moreland, 1B
Chris Young, LF
Marco Hernandez, 3B
Christian Vazquez, C
Drew Pomeranz, LHP

Read More: Dustin Pedroia, jackie bradley jr.,
Dustin Pedroia reached out to Orioles following incident in Baltimore clearing air prior to series this week 05.01.17 at 6:05 pm ET
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Dustin Pedroia reached out to the Orioles to clear the air. (Evan Habeeb/USA Today Sports)

Dustin Pedroia reached out to the Orioles to clear the air. (Evan Habeeb/USA Today Sports)

At least as of now, don’t expect a repeat of two weekend’s ago between the Red Sox and Orioles this week at Fenway Park.

Things got heated in Baltimore as after Manny Machado took out Dustin Pedroia with a slide at second base on Friday night, Matt Barnes threw behind him in the head region on Sunday. Barnes was ejected and suspended four games.

The two teams are meeting again this week at Fenway Park, but it doesn’t appear things will carry over.

According to Orioles closer Zach Britton, Pedroia reached out to a veteran member of the Orioles to clear the air.

“Dustin reached out to a veteran player on our team about the comments, just wanting to clarify some things,” he said Monday. “Once we did that, I think we’ve turned the page and moved on.”

Orioles manager Buck Showalter said the same.

“I know the respect that our guys have for their club,” he said. “I think if you really took a poll, people are looking forward to playing baseball against a really good team. I know they have that same respect. The players, I think the people involved may look at it a little differently, maybe I’m naive about it. But I know how our guys feel. Is that the obligatory question you had to ask?”

From a Red Sox perspective, they have moved on as well.

“I think much has been said about it,” manager John Farrell said. “We’ve moved on from it. The fact is, we’re coming off a good weekend of baseball, something that hopefully we continue to build upon. And more than anything, focused on our guys and what we need to do to be a little more proficient defensively and execute the game as called for.”

For more Red Sox news, visit weei.com/redsox.

Read More: Dustin Pedroia, Zach Britton,
Red Sox lineup: Dustin Pedroia batting 6th again in series opener vs. Orioles at 3:32 pm ET
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Dustin Pedroia is batting sixth once again. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Dustin Pedroia is batting sixth once again. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

The Red Sox are sticking to their new lineup in the series opener against the Orioles.

Dustin Pedroia will bat sixth again, with Xander Bogaerts leading off as the Red Sox take on right-hander Dylan Bundy and the Orioles.

The two teams had issues the last time they faced each other two weekends ago in Baltimore, which could be carried over into this series.

Marco Hernandez gets the start at third base and Sandy Leon will catch Red Sox starter Rick Porcello.

Here is the complete Red Sox lineup.

Xander Bogaerts, SS
Andrew Benintendi, LF
Mookie Betts, RF
Hanley Ramirez, DH
Mitch Moreland, 1B
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
Sandy Leon, C
Marco Hernandez, 3B
Rick Porcello, RHP

Read More: Dustin Pedroia,
Red Sox notes: Matt Barnes drops appeal of 4-game suspension, will be out until Sunday vs. Cubs 04.26.17 at 5:07 pm ET
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Matt Barnes dropped the appeal of his suspension. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Matt Barnes dropped the appeal of his suspension. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

After MLB suspended Matt Barnes for four games on Monday for throwing in the head area of Manny Machado, Barnes said he would appeal, but two days later the reliever has dropped the appeal and will begin serving his four-game suspension Wednesday night against the Yankees.

“People are going to think what they want,” Barnes said after the game. “All I know was I was trying to go up and in, trying to get some weak contact with [Adam] Jones on first. Unfortunately one got away from me, and like I said I would never intentionally throw at somebody’s head. That’s potentially life-changing and that’s unacceptable.”

The four-game ban will have him out until Sunday night against the Cubs.

Since Barnes was suspended, the Red Sox can not call up a reliever, so they will be down a man in the bullpen. It will be a setup man by committee leading to Craig Kimbrel until Sunday.

In other news, Dustin Pedroia is out of the lineup for a third straight game following the hard slide from Manny Machado last Friday night in Baltimore. Manager John Farrell noted the wet conditions played a factor in the decision. On Tuesday, Farrell said he would have played if they had a game, but woke up more sore on Wednesday.

“Pedey is still dealing with some soreness in the left knee,” he said. “After some work he did yesterday here before the game, or the would be game, felt like there was still some lingering symptoms there. I will be honest with you, with the wet grounds tonight I wasn’t going to take any further risk for potential misfooting to put him at risk further. He’s day-to-day and hope he will be back in the lineup tomorrow.”

OTHER RED SOX NOTES

— David Price will indeed face batters for the first time since spring training Saturday at Fenway Park. He had a good work session Wednesday.

“Threw the ball well,” Farrell said. “A normal bullpen that would be in between starts type of bullpen. He’s on tap to face hitters on Saturday here.”

— Brock Holt, who is on the DL with vertigo is progressing, but hasn’t been able to get on the field due to the weather.

“We haven’t been able to get on the field the last three days,” Farrell said. “The day off, the rain even today keeping us off the field for any work. We’re looking at another day or two of early work to go through all fielding drills before we get him out on a rehab assignment. The symptoms that caused the onset of the vertigo, that seems to be cleared up. The virus had some effect on that. He’s getting closer to getting out into some games.”

— Reliever Tyler Thornburg hasn’t got on the mound yet as he works his way back from a shoulder injury suffered in spring training. Farrell admitted it is taking longer than expected.

“You know, he’s throwing long toss out to 120 feet,” he said. “No change from what we talked about prior to the rain out yesterday. He’s still in the long toss phase. We’re hopeful to get him to at least 150 feet before we would introduce the mound. I think even by his own account this has taken longer than he even anticipated. He’s in that long toss phase and he will be on the mound as soon as first available.”

Read More: Brock Holt, David Price, Dustin Pedroia, matt barnes
Red Sox lineup: Dustin Pedroia out, Marco Hernandez starting at 2B at 3:20 pm ET
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Dustin Pedroia remains out of the lineup. (Evan Habeeb/USA Today Sports)

Dustin Pedroia remains out of the lineup. (Evan Habeeb/USA Today Sports)

A day after manager John Farrell said Dustin Pedroia (knee, ankle) would be in the lineup if Tuesday’s Red Sox-Yankees game was played, he is out of the lineup on Wednesday.

On Dale & Holley with Rich Keefe earlier in the afternoon, Farrell said Pedroia woke up more sore and the wet conditions played a factor.

With Pablo Sandoval on the disabled list, Josh Rutledge will get the start at third base and Marco Hernandez will be at second base. The Red Sox will be going up against Yankees right-hander Luis Serverino.

Sandy Leon will catch Red Sox starter Rick Porcello.

Here is the complete Red Sox lineup.

Xander Bogaerts, SS
Andrew Benintendi, CF
Mookie Betts, RF
Mitch Moreland, 1B
Hanley Ramirez, DH
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
Josh Rutledge, 3B
Marco Hernandez, 2B
Sandy Leon, C
Rick Porcello, RHP

For more Red Sox news, visit weei.com/redsox.

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Orioles closer Zach Britton criticizes Dustin Pedroia’s leadership 04.23.17 at 9:52 pm ET
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Zach Britton took a shot at Dustin Pedroia. (Nick Turchiaro/USA Today Sports)

Zach Britton took a shot at Dustin Pedroia. (Nick Turchiaro/USA Today Sports)

After Orioles third baseman Manny Machado took out Dustin Pedroia at second base Friday night, the Red Sox appeared to seek revenge on Sunday.

Reliever Matt Barnes’ fastball in the eighth inning went behind Machado’s head and he was immediately ejected from the game. The Red Sox reliever said he didn’t mean for the pitch to end up where it did.

“People are going to think what they want,” Barnes told reporters after the game “All I know was I was trying to go up and in, trying to get some weak contact with [Adam] Jones on first. Unfortunately one got away from me, and like I said I would never intentionally throw at somebody’s head. That’s potentially life-changing and that’s unacceptable.”

Afterwards, Pedroia didn’t appear to be thrilled with what Barnes did.

“I just told him I didn’t have anything to do with that,” Pedroia said. “That’s not how you do that, man. I’m sorry to him and his team. If you’re going to protect guys, you do it right away. ”

“It’s definitely a mishandled situation,” he added. “There was zero intention of [Machado] trying to hurt me. He just made a bad slide. He did hurt me. It’s baseball, man. I’m not mad at him. I love Manny Machado. I love playing against him. I love watching him. If I slid into third base and got Manny’s knee, I know I’m going to get drilled. That’s baseball. I get drilled, and I go to first base. That’s it.”

Word of Pedroia’s comments got over to the Orioles clubhouse where closer Zach Britton, who is currently on the disabled list, took a shot at Pedroia and his leadership.

“Dustin, him telling Manny, ‘Hey, that didn’t come from me’ may be even more frustrating,” Britton told BaltimoreBaseball.com. “Because he’s the leader of that clubhouse and if he can’t control his own teammates, then there’s a bigger issue over there.”

Added Britton: “As a player that doesn’t have the most service time in this room, when a guy like Adam Jones tells me to do something or not to do something, I’m going to do [what he says]. Same with Chris Davis or Darren O’Day, the guy in my bullpen. If they tell me, ‘Don’t do this or that,’ I’m going to listen to them because they’ve been around the game and they’ve seen things I haven’t seen. And you respect their leadership.”

This doesn’t appear to be over between the two teams and they will meet a week from Monday at Fenway Park.

Read More: Dustin Pedroia, manny machado, matt barnes, Zach Britton
Dustin Pedroia once again out of Red Sox lineup with swelling in ankle, knee, and will undergo further tests in Boston at 1:16 pm ET
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Dustin Pedroia

Dustin Pedroia

Manny Machado’s hard slide into Dustin Pedroia on Friday night continues impacting the Red Sox.

Pedroia was out of the lineup for a second straight day with the Sox preparing to face the Orioles in Baltimore, and manager John Farrell told reporters at Camden Yards that the second baseman is sore with a little bit of swelling in his ankle and knee.

“When we get back to Boston, he’ll go through some further imaging tomorrow just to rule anything out,” Farrell said. “So with some of the swelling that still exists, he’s not available for today.”

Pedroia was injured Friday when Machado, the Orioles third baseman, spiked him in the side of the left knee while sliding into second on a force play. Farrell was asked if he’s any more concerned.

“No, I wouldn’t say more of a concern, there were was legitimate concern in the moment it took place,” Farrell said. “But the fact that he still has the symptoms he does, we’re going to rule everything out. His importance to us speaks for itself and with any of our players, you get into a situation like this, you give it a 24-48 hour period to see how it responds, and at this point it warrants a further look.”

With Pedroia out, Marco Hernandez will play second. Here’s the lineup:

SS Xander Bogaerts
LF Andrew Benintendi
RF Mookie Betts
DH Hanley Ramirez
1B Mitch Moreland
CF Jackie Bradley
C Christian Vazquez
3B Pablo Sandoval
2B Marco Hernandez

Left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez gets the start.

Read More: Dustin Pedroia, Red Sox,
Dustin Pedroia compares himself to a housefly before starting 12th year with Red Sox 04.02.17 at 5:12 pm ET
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Dustin Pedroia will be playing his 12th season with the Red Sox. (Kim Klement/USA Today Sports)

Dustin Pedroia will be playing his 12th season with the Red Sox. (Kim Klement/USA Today Sports)

Dustin Pedroia has been with the Red Sox a long time — 12 years in fact.

On Monday he will start at second base for the 11th straight Opening Day, but he doesn’t know what to make of that.

“I don’t know what that means. I guess I’m kind of like a housefly. You can’t get rid of them or something,” Pedroia said Sunday before an optional workout at Fenway Park. “I don’t know, man. I’m just trying to show up every year and play. I enjoy playing. I enjoy playing here. And it’s great place when you win.”

Pedroia is coming off a solid 2016 season where he hit .318, the second-highest mark of his career. He appears ready to build off last season, as he had a terrific spring batting .463 with three doubles and four RBIs in 17 games.

With David Ortiz no longer around, Pedroia could be forced into more of a leadership role.

Manager John Farrell knows just how important he is to the club.

“For the last decade he’s been a bedrock here,” Farrell said Sunday. “He’s been a cornerstone player and his importance [to] our club continues to grow. As players have moved on, Pedey is the one guy who’s still in his prime and had a fantastic spring training.”

Read More: Dustin Pedroia,
Dustin Pedroia on Bradfo Sho says he’s taken some training tips from Tom Brady 02.27.17 at 12:11 pm ET
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Dustin Pedroia posted his best OPS last season since 2011.  (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)

Dustin Pedroia posted his best OPS last season since 2011. (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)

As an elder statesman on the Red Sox, Dustin Pedroia says he now trains differently than he did as a young player. And he takes some of his cues from Tom Brady, the Benjamin Button of quarterbacks.

In an interview on WEEI’s Bradfo Sho, Pedroia extolled Brady’s approach to playing football. He also cited ways in which he’s carried over some of TB12’s techniques to his own training regimen.

“I understand what he does and know what he does. I think it’s awesome,” Pedroia said. “There’s a reason why he’s successful at his age, and he looks better now than he did when he first came to the league. You have to be smarter as you get older and learn different styles –– the way to train and the way you take care of your body to be able to perform and stay on the field. It doesn’t matter what sport you’re playing. He’s definitely got that figured out.”

Instead of weight training, Brady focuses on muscle pliability. In a New York Times profile, he attributes his remarkable ability to stay on the field to his muscle’s elasticity. Brady hasn’t missed a single game due to injury since he tore his ACL in 2007.

After missing time at the end of the 2014 and 2015 campaigns, Pedroia played in 154 games last season. He posted his highest OPS since 2011, stopping a five-year decline. At 33 years old, Pedroia says he recognizes the pitfalls of intensive weight training, and the advantages that can be gained from living a healthy lifestyle.

“There’s tons of ways to take care of your body. It’s not just get in the weight room and throw weights around,” he said. “As you get older, the human body can’t take the pounding if you’re going in there and power lifting. When you’re younger, you can handle some of that. But as you get older, you got to be smarter. Sometimes less is more –– whether that’s weight or reps or whatever. You’ve just got to be smart. And eating wise, that’s a big part of recovery. If you put the right foods in your body, you’ll heal faster if you’re injured or recover faster. It’s like a car, man. Put bad gas in, bro. It’s not going to be the same as good gas.”

Pedroia didn’t reveal how much longer he wants to keep playing baseball, but did say he intends to honor the five years remaining on his Red Sox contract. Whether he keeps playing or not, it’s apparent Pedroia will continue to be cognizant of his body long after he hangs up the spikes. He wants to live until he’s in the triple-digits.

“I plan on living until I’m 100. So, we’re not even halfway home,” he said.

Read More: Boston Red Sox, Dustin Pedroia,
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