BALTIMORE — The Red Sox did something unusual on Sunday. They played a game without second baseman Dustin Pedroia.
Manager John Farrell followed through with his threat to give Pedroia a day off and sat him out against the Orioles in a 6-3 loss at Camden Yards.
Pedroia started the first 70 games of the season and had played all but 10 innings at second base. Pedroia was one of 16 players who had started all of their team’s games this season.
The timing made sense on several fronts. The Sox are off on Monday, so Pedroia will get two days off in a row. He also is slumping a bit at the plate with three hits in his last 19 at-bats.
“Starting to catch up to him a little bit. It was clear that he needed a day today,” Farrell said. “He continued to say he was good to go and wanted to play all the way through. But I think you monitor every guy and there are signs that start to appear that [Sunday] would be a good day for him.”
Jose Iglesias started at second base for the first time in his career. He handled three chances without any issues and was 1 for 4 at the plate, extending his hitting streak to 17 games, the longest for a rookie in the majors this season.
Iglesias is 26 of 61 (.426) during the streak with six extra-base hits and eight runs scored.
He had another infield hit, beating out a ball to shortstop in the eighth inning. Thirteen of the 39 hits Iglesias have not let the infield.
Cramping his style
Mike Carp, who has been a surprisingly productive player off the bench, left the game in the seventh with a tight right hamstring. He was injured going to second base after a double to left field.
“I think it’s more of a cramp than anything else. Based on how I feel and what the medical people said, it’s not something serious,” Carp said.
Carp had strength testing done when he came out and it was close to normal.
“Hopefully with the day off, he’d be available again on Tuesday,” Farrell said. “It wasn’t a pull, it was more of a cramping sensation. Probably because of the humidity.”
Carp is hitting .324 with a 1.065 OPS. His absence would greatly diminish what has been a productive bench for the Red Sox.
For the fifth time in the last six days, the Red Sox made a roster move involving their pitching staff. This time they returned righthander Rubby DeLa Rosa to Triple A Pawtucket and purchased the contract of righthanded reliever Pedro Beato.
Beato appeared in four games for the Red Sox last season then was taken off the roster. He returned on a minor league deal and has pitched well in Pawtucket. Beato has a 1.19 earned run average in 19 appearances and 33⅓ innings.
Beato pitched the sixth inning and retired the side in order.
The next move could involve Clay Buchholz, who hasn’t pitched since June 8 because of a sore trapezius on his right side. If he is not capable of throwing in the bullpen Tuesday, the Sox will likely place him on the disabled list.
If Buchholz can pitch, he would be slotted in to face the Tigers during the four-game series that starts Thursday in Detroit. If Buchholz is taken off the roster, De La Rosa and Allen Webster are candidates to start Saturday in Detroit.
Aceves to return
The Sox will add Alfredo Aceves as the 26th player on the roster for Tuesday’s day-night doubleheader against the Rays at Fenway Park.
Aceves will start one of the games, Felix Doubront the other. The order has not been determined, Farrell said.
Aceves has made two spot starts since May 27 and won both games, giving up two earned runs over 12 innings.
“He’s done a very good job,” Farrell said. “He’s one guy that probably works well without a whole lot of structure. With the spot starts he’s made, he’s stepped in and for the most part has thrown the ball over the plate and kept innings under control.”
Mike Napoli came out of Thursday’s game in the third inning because of an illness and hasn’t played since. He was scheduled for tests in Boston Sunday but showed significant improvement. Farrell said he hopes that Napoli will be able to play Tuesday . . . David Ortiz was 0 for 4. He was 3 for 26 on the road trip with one RBI in seven games. Ortiz’s batting average has dropped to .294 . . . The Sox were 5 for 26 with runners in scoring position for the series . . . Daniel Nava batted third for the first time this season and the fourth time in his career. He was 0 for 4, although he did hit the ball to the wall in left field in the sixth. Nava is 1 for 15 without an RBI batting third . . . Baltimore third baseman Manny Machado doubled in the first inning to extend his hit streak to 14 games. He has 32 doubles this season. The Baltimore record is 56 by Brian Roberts in 2009. Earl Webb of the Red Sox set the major league record of 67 in 1931. The 20-year-old Machado was 9 for 19 in the series with four doubles and three RBIs.Peter Abraham can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @PeteAbe.