Dustin Pedroia said Tuesday it was “a real honor” to learn that Mariano Rivera has such high regard for him before the Red Sox defeated the Reds, 4-3, in 12 innings.
In Rivera’s new book, the retired Yankees star wrote that Pedroia is the second baseman he would want on his side and not Robinson Cano. Rivera and Cano played together for nine years with the Yankees.
“Nobody plays harder, gives more, wants to win more. He comes at you hard for 27 outs. It’s a special thing to see,” wrote Rivera about Pedroia. “If I have to win one game, I’d have a hard time taking anybody over Dustin Pedroia as my second baseman.”
Rivera’s book, “The Closer”, written with Wayne Coffey, came out Tuesday.
“It’s great to hear something like that,” Pedroia said. “He must have got the check I sent him.”
Red Sox manager John Farrell, as you might expect, agreed with Rivera.
“Not surprising, an incredible compliment of your opponent across the field,” Farrell said. “Maybe allows us to take a step back and really appreciate what we — I don’t want to say take for granted — but what we see day in and day out.”
Rivera questioned the work ethic of Cano.
“This guy has so much talent I don’t know where to start,” Rivera wrote. “There is no doubt that he is a Hall-of-Fame caliber [player]. It’s just a question of whether he finds the drive you need to get there. I don’t think Robby burns to be the best. . . You don’t see that red-hot passion in him that you see in most elite players.”
In Oakland with the Mariners, Cano had little comment on Rivera’s words.
“Everybody has a different opinion,” he told reporters. “You have to respect everyone. That’s his opinion and I have to respect his opinion.”
Righthanded reliever Edward Mujica, who was unable to pitch Saturday because of a rib-cage strain on his right side, will not be going on the disabled list.
Mujica was at Fenway Park on Monday to receive treatment and on Tuesday threw in the bullpen before batting practice and was cleared.
“We needed to get him on the mound to test and see where he is,” Farrell said.
Mujica had a poor first month for the Red Sox. Over 11 games and 10 innings, he allowed 10 runs on 16 hits and four walks . The Red Sox were hoping the former St. Louis closer, an All-Star in 2013, would be a reliable late-inning option.
Tuesday’s game was the seventh meeting for the Reds and Red Sox, the fewest for the Sox against any opponent.
The teams had not played at Fenway Park since 2005. In the time since, the Sox had hosted each of the 28 other major league teams during the regular season.
The last time the Red Sox hosted the Reds, Matt Clement, David Wells, and Bronson Arroyo were the winning pitchers in a sweep.
The only postseason meeting between the Sox and Reds was, of course, the 1975 World Series. The teams will meet again in Cincinnati Aug. 12-13.
Reds make moves
The Red placed outfielder Jay Bruce on the 15-day disabled list before the game and recalled outfielder Roger Bernadina from Triple A Louisville.
Bruce, who had surgery on Monday to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee, was hitting .216 with three homers and 14 RBIs over 30 games. He is expected to miss a month.
Bernadina was designated for assignment Saturday and was outrighted to Louisville a day later. Now he is back in the majors, having not played a game for Louisville.
The Reds started Chris Heisey in right field on Tuesday in place of Bruce.
Cincinnati also was without closer Aroldis Chapman, the lefthander with the 100-mile-per-hour fastball. He is on the disabled list recovering from fractures suffered when he was hit in the face by a line drive during spring training.
Chapman has started a rehabilitation assignment and should be activated this week.
The Reds did not start center fielder Billy Hamilton. The 23-year-old stole an astonishing 395 bases over 502 minor league games and has 24 in 41 major league games.
But Hamilton came into the series with a .280 on-base percentage this season and has been successful on only 11 of 16 steal attempts.
Red Sox pitchers and catchers spent time Tuesday discussing strategies to disrupt Hamilton’s timing. “He has been thrown out. It’s not like it’s a guarantee. But he’s a hell of a base stealer,” Farrell said.
Hamilton came on in the ninth as a pinch hitter, and sacrificed Zack Cozart to second.
Portland’s Mookie Betts was named the Eastern League’s player of the month. for April. It must have been a landslide vote.
Betts hit .430 with a .481 on-base percentage and a .688 slugging percentage in 22 games. The 21-year old second baseman scored 30 runs and had 10 doubles, a triple, and four home runs. He also stole 10 bases.
He led the league in batting average, hits, extra-base hits, total bases, runs, OBP, slugging, and OPS.
Betts reached safely in all 22 games and had at least one hit in 21 games. Through Monday, Betts had reached safely in 63 consecutive games, including six Carolina League playoff games.
Betts was a fifth-round draft choice in 2011 out of Overton High in Brentwood, Tenn.
Staying in line
The Red Sox had a day off Monday and have another one coming up Thursday. But after some discussion, the decision was made to keep the rotation in order. So Clay Buchholz, Jon Lester, and John Lackey will pitch against Texas this weekend on two extra days of rest.
“We gave quite a bit of thought on the potential to change up the rotation because pitching on the seventh day can sometimes [have] an effect,” Farrell said. “But given what we’ve got coming up after these off days and the run we’ll go on with fewer available days to us, we thought it just best to keep guys on turn, give the rest.”
Tuesday was the 99th anniversary of Babe Ruth’s first home run. The Babe, then 20, connected off Jack Warhop of the Yankees in a game at the Polo Grounds. Ruth pitched 12⅓ innings in a game the Yankees won, 4-3 . . . Pedroia’s double in the 11th inning was the 300th of his career . . . The Sox have outscored the Reds, 43-14, in seven interleague games and lead the series, 6-1 . . . Mike Napoli has reached base in 27 consecutive games . . . The Red Sox were 1 for 2 stealing bases, Pedroia getting thrown out in the ninth inning and Shane Victorino stealing unopposed later in that inning. The Sox are 11 of 20 in steals. They were caught 19 times all last season . . . Tuesday’s game was the 2,000th for David Ortiz, his 1,545th with the Red Sox. Ortiz is ninth in team history in games played. He is 103 shy of moving into sixth place. Carl Yastrzemski holds the record with 3,308 . . . Jake Peavy, the Red Sox starter on Wednesday, is 6-0 with a 2.14 earned run average in 10 starts against the Reds. That is lowest ERA against teams he has faced at least three times. Peavy has not faced the Reds since 2009, however.Peter Abraham can be reached at email@example.com.