Dustin Pedroia had three hits in Friday night’s 7-3 victory against the Houston Astros. That raised his batting average to .318 and his on-base percentage to .417.
But the second baseman hasn’t felt right at the plate all season.
“I haven’t really been comfortable yet, to be honest with you,” he said. “I’m getting hits and getting on. But I haven’t felt consistent. I want to let the ball come to me and drive it and I haven’t.
“Not feeling good and getting hits is a good thing. But there’s more there.”
Only five of Pedroia’s 28 hits are for extra bases and all are doubles. Part of the problem is that he aggravated a thumb injury from last year when he dived into first base against the Yankees on Opening Day.
“The thumb issue, he’s been dealing with that,” hitting coach Greg Colbrunn said. “That’s making him adapt with the feel of the bat and all that. But in the last week he’s been hitting the ball better.”
Pedroia, as he usually does, denied the injury was a problem.
“No, I’m good,” he insisted. “That’s fine now.”
When it comes to hitting for power, Pedroia said it’s a matter of getting hot and then riding that for a long time.
“That’s how it usually is for me,” he said. “I’ve gone a long time between home runs in my career and then I’ll hit a bunch over a few weeks. I know it’s going to come. I just need to keep working at it.”
Colbrunn, in his first season with the Sox, has marveled at Pedroia’s approach.
“He’s been battling his butt off. That’s the great thing about Pedey, every at-bat is like it’s the last one of his career,” he said. “He’s going to get there.”
Pedroia doubled off the Wall in the first inning Friday against Erik Bedard in the Red Sox’ 7-3 win. Then in the third inning he hit one down the line in shallow right field that took a fortuitous bounce into the stands for a ground-rule double.
He added a single to center in the seventh.
Victorino sits again
Shane Victorino was out of the lineup for the second day in a row with lower back spasms. There is no thought, manager John Farrell said, of the right fielder going on the disabled list.
“It’ll be based on how he continues to improve day over day and responds to the treatment,” said Farrell. “We’re not any closer today to saying this is a DL situation. He’s still day to day.”
The Sox are off Monday. They could give Victorino five days off and not play him until Tuesday in Toronto.
On rehab front
Joel Hanrahan, on the disabled list with a right hamstring strain, started a rehabilitation assignment with Triple A Pawtucket. Pitching in Buffalo, he allowed two runs on two hits in the eighth inning and had a strikeout.
Hanrahan got two outs before Jim Negrych doubled. Eugenio Velez then homered. Hanrahan threw strikes on nine of 14 pitches.
Lefthanded reliever Craig Breslow will join Pawtucket on Saturday. He is scheduled to pitch in back-to-back games before being evaluated again. He is out with a sore shoulder.
Mike Carp had three at-bats over the first 13 games of the season. He then went 8 of 13 with six extra-base hits, four RBIs, and a walk over a six-game stretch. “I think the most important thing is the way that he’s handled that role and the thing that he has done every day to stay prepared,” Farrell said. “He’s stepped in the middle of a number of things where he’s contributed. He’s done a very good job in the role.” . . . Pedro Ciriaco started at shortstop for the slumping Stephen Drew. Ciriaco tripled and went 2 for 4. Farrell said he intended to start Ciriaco again in the series at another position.
Aceves to report
Alfredo Aceves, who was optioned Wednesday, is expected to report to Pawtucket on Saturday. Farrell said he did not know when Aceves would be starting.
Pawtucket announced its rotation for a four-game series against Columbus that starts on Saturday and Aceves is not scheduled to pitch. The Red Sox, major league sources have said for several days, are open to the idea of trading Aceves.
Meanwhile, guess who will be pitching against Pawtucket on Sunday? It’s Daisuke Matsuzaka. The erstwhile Red Sox righthander signed a minor league deal with the Cleveland Indians and is 0-2 with a 4.58 earned run average through four starts for Columbus. He has walked 18 in 17⅔ innings.
Team pitches in
As part of Major League Baseball recognizing Autism Awareness Month, the Red Sox on Sunday will provide extra accommodations for families affected by autism.
During pregame ceremonies, children on the autism spectrum will act as honorary bat kids and throw out the ceremonial first pitch. The club worked with the New England Chapter of Autism Speaks to provide families with tickets to the game and information about what they can expect and how to prepare. The club is also designating the new Champions Club, located behind right field, as a “quiet zone” for children with sensory issues.
K their favorite letter
Sox pitchers have 232 strikeouts, their most ever for a month . . . Bedard and Ryan Dempster were the first Canadian pitchers to oppose each other at Fenway . . . This season marks the 40th anniversary of the designated hitter and on May 8 the Red Sox will bring their first DH, Hall of Famer Orlando Cepeda, to Fenway Park. Cepeda hit .289 with 20 homers and 86 RBIs for the Sox in 1973. It was his only season with the team. The “Baby Bull” is now 75 . . . Daniel Nava will throw out the first pitch on Opening Day of the RBI League at Jim Rice Field in Roxbury on Saturday.Peter Abraham can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @PeteAbe.