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Red Sox pregame notes: Dustin Pedroia out with flu-like symptoms; Steven Wright called up from Pawtucket 08.17.14 at 11:55 am ET
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It’s not often Dustin Pedroia isn’t well enough to be in the Red Sox lineup.

The second baseman has a reputation of playing through pain and soreness, one he’s maintained throughout this season. Pedroia has played in 119 of the Sox’ first 122 games in 2014, and was in the lineup Saturday despite leaving Friday’s game early after fouling a ball off his foot.

Sunday will be one of those rare occasions where Pedroia can’t go.

Red Sox manager John Farrell said that Pedroia is out of Sunday’s lineup with flu-like symptoms. Brock Holt will play second in his place.

“He felt it during the game last night, it worsened to the point where he can’t go at all today,” Farrell said of Pedroia’s condition.

Farrell said Pedroia showed up to the ballpark Sunday and was given antibiotics by team doctors.

“Hopefully this is a short-lived situation,” he said.

Pedroia’s presence in the lineup will be missed Sunday. The second baseman has five hits, two RBIs and four runs scored in the first three games of the series against the Astros, which concludes Sunday afternoon.

OTHER RED SOX NOTES

– The Red Sox called up pitcher Steven Wright from Triple-A Pawtucket and designated outfielder Corey Brown for assignment, according to Farrell. Read the rest of this entry »

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Red Sox lineup: Dustin Pedroia back in despite early exit on Friday 08.16.14 at 3:22 pm ET
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Dustin Pedroia is back in the Red Sox lineup Saturday night for the third game of their four-game series against the Astros despite leaving Friday’s game early after fouling a ball off his right foot in the third inning.

The second baseman left in the bottom of the eighth after running out a ground ball. Manager John Farrell said after the game that they would decide whether or not to play him Saturday.

Brock Holt will man third base, giving Will Middlebrooks the day off. Daniel Nava will play in right field.

RED SOX LINEUP

Brock Holt, 3B

Dustin Pedroia, 2B

David Ortiz, DH

Yoenis Cespedes, LF

Mike Napoli, 1B

Daniel Nava, RF

Xander Bogaerts, SS

Jackie Bradley Jr., CF

Christian Vazquez, C

Rubby De La Rosa, SP

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Dustin Pedroia continues to provide spark in Red Sox lineup 08.04.14 at 8:09 am ET
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Even after putting together a strong performance at the plate Sunday night against the Yankees, Dustin Pedroia – always looking at the big picture — was more focused on the pitch he wasn’t able to capitalize on.

Down by one run with two outs in the ninth, Pedroia stepped up to the dish to face off against Yankee closer David Robertson. After a lengthy battle, Pedroia drove the eighth pitch of the at-bat deep into left field, only for it to hook left of the foul pole before clearing the Green Monster.

“It started out fair and then it kind of hooked foul, it’s just one of those things, and it was kind of up and in, so I hooked it a little bit,” Pedroia said.

Pedroia grounded out on the next pitch to seal the 8-7 Yankees win, giving New York its third series win of the year against Boston.

Despite his frustrating final at-bat, Pedroia compiled another great batting line against New York, finishing the night 2-for-5 with a home run and two RBIs. It was the fifth multi-hit game in a row for the Red Sox second baseman, tying a career-high mark that Pedroia has already reached seven times in his career.

“I think over the last seven, eight days, you’re seeing much better bat speed, he misses another one there in the ninth inning, just foul,” said Red Sox manager John Farrell. “Just better bat speed and more freedom in the swing.”

“I feel good. I’ve got to build on it and continue to work and try to get better,” Pedroia said.

While the Red Sox‘ chances of continuing their season in October are essentially null at this point, Pedroia has done his part to keep his team in games over the last two weeks, energizing a lineup that has underwhelmed for most of the 2014 campaign.

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Read More: Dustin Pedroia, John Farrell, Red Sox, Yankees
Red Sox-Yankees series preview 08.01.14 at 12:16 pm ET
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When the Red Sox take the field to begin a three-game series against the Yankees Friday night, they’ll be a team unrecognizable to many in attendance.

The Sox made four trades Thursday before the 4 p.m. deadline, shipping off five players and adding three major league-ready talents who are expected to be in uniform this weekend.

That means the Red Sox‘ lineup will not only look new, but may be improved as well. Slugger Yoenis Cespedes, whom the Red Sox acquired from Oakland for Jon Lester and Jonny Gomes, and Allen Craig, obtained from the Cardinals for John Lackey, could be in the starting lineup as soon as Friday. General manager Ben Cherington said they will man the corner outfield positions.

Third baseman Will Middlebrooks also will be back after missing over two months with a broken finger. Rookie Xander Bogaerts will move back to shortstop after Stephen Drew was traded to none other than the visiting Yankees. To top it all off, the Sox called up pitcher Anthony Ranaudo to pitch Friday, which was when Lackey was scheduled to start, in his major league debut.

There’s no telling whether or not the change will be good for the Red Sox yet, but it’s clear things can’t get much worse for them. The Sox have lost eight of their last nine games after being swept by the Blue Jays in a three-game set a Fenway Park this week. The Red Sox were outscored 24-4 in the three games, which included a 14-1 beatdown in Monday’s opener, in a week full of distraction and trade rumors. The sweep put the Sox 12 1/2 back in the AL East and 11 back in the wild card.

The Yankees, whom the Red Sox are 4-6 against this season after taking two out of three at Yankee Stadium June 27-29, had a much quieter deadline than their rivals. New York acquired Drew for the injured Kelly Johnson in the first swap between the two teams since 1997. Drew is expected to play second base while Derek Jeter mans shortstop.

What the Yankees could’ve used was some pitching to aid their depleted rotation, which has lost a number of key players, including standout Japanese rookie Masahiro Tanaka. Instead, New York has tried filling that void with the likes of Chris Capuano, who was designated for assignment by the Red Sox earlier this season, and rookie Shane Greene, both of whom will start this weekend.

The Yankees are coming off a pair of series losses after dropping two of three against the Blue Jays and the Rangers. The losses put the Yankees five games out of the division lead and 3 1/2 back in the wild card chase.

In a theme that will sound familiar to Red Sox fans, the Yankees have struggled in close games of late, unable to come up with the key hit to put them over the top.

“Every game that we lost was by two runs or one run and all but one of those [last 13] games was a one- or two-run game for either side,” manager Joe Girardi said. “So if we get the consistency in our offense, we’re going to win a lot more.”

Here are the pitching matchups for the three-game set.

Friday: Ranaudo vs. Capuano (1-1, 4.30 ERA)
Saturday: Allen Webster (1-0, 3.38 ERA) vs. Greene (2-1, 2.38 ERA)
Sunday: Clay Buchholz (5-7, 5.87 ERA) vs. David Phelps (5-5, 3.89 ERA)

WHO’S HOT: RED SOX

– The 2014 season has been as frustrating for Dustin Pedroia as anyone, , but he was one of the few with reason to feel good following the Toronto series. Pedroia has two hits in each of his last two games and has four multi-hit games in his last six. He’s hitting .385 in his last seven games to improve his average to .276 for the season, good for second on the team behind Brock Holt.

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Read More: Brett Gardner, Dustin Pedroia, Jacoby Ellsbury, xander bogaerts
Dustin Pedroia, David Ortiz react to Jon Lester’s potential departure: ‘We’re not teammates, we’re family’ 07.30.14 at 12:49 am ET
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The atmosphere in the Red Sox clubhouse was eerily somber following the team’s 4-2 loss at the hands of the Blue Jays Tuesday night. However, this aura of disappointment was not due to the numbers on the scoreboard, but rather the growing realization that one of the Red Sox‘ most beloved players might not be at his locker the following morning.

Red Sox manager John Farrell confirmed after the game that Jon Lester, who has been the focus of trade rumors for the past few weeks, would not make his scheduled start Wednesday, further adding to the belief that the southpaw’s days in Boston are numbered. One general manager told WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford that a deal could be struck as soon as Wednesday morning.

While Lester’s performance on the mound (10-7, 2.52 ERA, 1.12 WHIP) will be difficult for Boston to replicate if he is indeed dealt, the possibility of losing the lefty’s presence in the clubhouse struck a much deeper chord with some of his teammates.

For veteran leaders like Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz, the impact of Lester’s potential departure goes far beyond the box score.

“It’s tough. We’re not teammates, we’re family,” Pedroia said. “It’s something that you don’t like going through.  It makes you feel worse. We don’t want to be in this position. … We should be adding instead of subtracting, so hopefully he’s here.”

Pedroia continued: “We’ve got a big game to play and we want him pitching it. … It would be tough to see him in another uniform.”

Said Ortiz: “Lester is like a brother to me. [Pedroia] was right, we’ve been together for a long period of time. Just because of the fact that all of these trade rumors are going around and him being scratched tomorrow, it can get a little complicated. We’ll see how that works.”

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Read More: David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia, Jon Lester, Red Sox
John Farrell on D&H: Dustin Pedroia ‘playing at 100 percent as far as I know’ 07.23.14 at 4:18 pm ET
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Red Sox manager John Farrell joined Dale & Holley on Wednesday afternoon to discuss Jake Peavy‘s performance on the mound, Dustin Pedroia‘s health and Christian Vazquez‘s reputation behind the plate. To listen to the interview, go to the Dale & Holley audio on demand page.

If anyone would want the opportunity to hit the reset button on the 2014 season, it would have to be Peavy, who is 1-9 with a 4.72 ERA over 20 starts this year. Peavy has lost nine consecutive decisions, tying for the most ever by a former Cy Young Award winner.

Despite his lackluster numbers, Peavy often has been done in by the Red Sox lineup, as the righty is last in the AL in run-support average at 3.15.

“We recognize full where the record stands, but there’s been a number of games in which he’s carried a quality start into the seventh or eighth inning with really not much to show for, and I can’t say it’s just because of a lack of run support,” Farrell said. “Have there been things on a shared responsibly? Without question. But I can tell you that he’s pitched better than the record that he’s showing today.”

Farrell continued: “You look at the last start he made down in Houston where he’s walking out into the eighth inning in a one-run game or 2-2 tie, things don’t happen quite right. We leave 13 men on base. If there’s a base hit somewhere in there, we’re probably not having this same conversation, but that’s the reality of things. I thought through five innings last night, Jake probably had his best breaking ball of the season.”

While ESPN’s Buster Olney noted earlier Wednesday that rival scouts are concerned that Pedroia‘s all-out play could have an negative effect on his career, Farrell said that Pedroia is healthy, despite dealing with an 0-for-17 skid.

“He’s playing at 100 percent as far as I know. I see him every day; every player has got maintenance work that they do in the training room, which he goes through,” Farrell said. “Is his style of play more taxing physically? It might be. But I know that seeing him when he gets to the ballpark here at 1 in the afternoon, the early work that he goes through, that’s tapered off as we get deeper into the season. … Dustin’s got an off day coming up here as well. Even though we’re coming out of the All-Star Break, we’ve still got to be mindful of the number of consecutive days, and that’s part of the balancing act when it gets to this part of the season.”

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Read More: Dustin Pedroia, jake peavy, John Farrell, Red Sox
Buster Olney on MFB: Dustin Pedroia ‘may wear down faster than other guys’ due to his ‘maximum effort’ play at 2:10 pm ET
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ESPN baseball reporter Buster Olney joined Middays with MFB on Wednesday afternoon to discuss the latest trade deadline news, Dustin Pedroia‘s struggles and Boston’s upcoming series against the Rays. To listen to the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.

The Red Sox‘ current 8-2 run has complicated matters for Ben Cherington and Co. Boston is 8 1/2 games behind the Orioles in the AL East, but with the next 11 games scheduled against AL East opponents the Red Sox have a great opportunity to quickly gain ground before the July 31 trade deadline.

Olney said that even though the Red Sox could insert themselves back into a playoff race, he still could see the team parting ways with players such as Jake Peavy and Jonny Gomes.

“I think that they have enough depth where they could serve both interests,” Olney said. “They could say, ‘Look, we’re still trying to compete this year, and at the same time, we can begin to turn over the roster a little bit.’ … We know that Peavy has a past relationship with [Giants manager] Bruce Bochy with the San Diego Padres. He’d be a great fit [in San Francisco.] The Red Sox clearly have internal options where if they traded Peavy, they could have other guys step in.

“The reason why a deal with the Cardinals didn’t happen was because the expectations of the two sides were different. The Cardinals basically were telling them, ‘Look, we’ll take on the salary but we’re not going to give you anything in the way of a prospect,’ where the Red Sox were hoping for something a little bit more. … I think Jonny is kind of in the same boat, depending on what they want to do with their young outfielders. Do they want to use the last two months and ensure the fact that they’re going to give those guys playing time down the stretch and begin to not only try to win this year but focus ahead for next year.”

The Red Sox will travel to Tropicana Field to take on the Rays for a three-game set this weekend, as both teams look to chip away at the division standings with July drawing to a close. Olney said that fighting for a playoff spot likely will remain the main focus for both teams during the series, rather than the personal feud between David Ortiz and David Price, stemming from the last time the teams played on May 30- June 1.

“The Rays right now are in a position where every out in every game means something,” Olney said. “I mean, they’re literally hanging on the fence on what to do in terms of whether or not to trade David Price. … They’re 24-11 since June 10, so I tend to think that this thing will be deferred. Now, are there hard feelings still there? Absolutely. But I don’t think this is going to be the time or place. That said, I didn’t think it was the time or the place for the whole thing to flare up the last time.”

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