BALTIMORE — The Red Sox have lost players because of illness and assorted minor injuries this season, to a point where they’ve had their regular lineup on the field just once, on Opening Day.
Manager John Farrell shrugged that off before Friday night’s game against the Baltimore Orioles, saying there’s not much a team can do about such things.
But when Dustin Pedroia hobbled of the field in the eighth inning of a 2-0 loss, emotions quickly came to a boil.
Pedroia was spiked in the back of his left knee by Baltimore’s Manny Machado and went down immediately before being helped off the field.
Joe Kelly, who was on the mound, shouted at Machado, as did other Sox players from the dugout.
Farrell thought Machado was reckless.
“Extremely late slide,” he said several times.
With Machado on first base, Mark Trumbo grounded to shortstop. Pedroia set up like a first baseman to take the throw from Xander Bogaerts.
Machado’s slide carried him through the base. His right foot came up and slammed into the side of Pedroia’s left knee. Pedroia went down and was helped off the field.
“That was the knee I had surgery on in the offseason, I just got caught in a weird position,” Pedroia said. “I don’t know what hit the side of my knee. It kind of pushed it in a little bit . . . It worries you at first.”
Pedroia hopes to play on Saturday.
“I feel all right. I just got some treatment. It feels better than when it happened but I’m all right,” he said.
Baseball has a rule prohibiting takeout slides to protect middle infielders trying to turn a double play, as Pedroia was.
“The argument at the time was if the rule’s in place to protect the middle infielder, well then it didn’t work tonight,” Farrell said.
Pedroia wasn’t interested in discussing whether any rule was broken. He also didn’t offer an opinion on the slide.
“I don’t even know what the rule is. I’ve turned the best double play in the major leagues for 11 years. I don’t need a [expletive] rule, let’s be honest,” he said. “The rule’s irrelevant. The rule’s for people with bad footwork, that’s it.”
Farrell wanted a double play called based on Machado’s slide, but was not granted a review. The umpires told him it was because Pedroia did not attempt to complete a double play.
“My contention is he had no chance to because he was blown up behind second base on the outfield side of the bag,” Farrell said.
When the ninth inning started, third base coach Brian Butterfield was ejected after shouting at umpire Alan Porter.
Machado did not feel his slide was out of bounds.
“It wasn’t intentional. I was trying to get on the bag. You can see the replay to see how I come off the bag and hits him in the calf,” he said. “I’m not going to change the way I play. I’m going to keep playing hard and do what I have to do to help my team win. It wasn’t intentional.”
Several Red Sox players and coaches stayed in the dugout when the game ended, watching Machado leave the field. In the clubhouse, players and staff members carefully watched the replay and were angry.
With two more games in the series, Machado could face retaliation.
“It’s one of those things. These things seem to play out the next day,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said.
Said Machado: “I don’t expect anything. I’m going to play baseball. What ever happens, happens. It’s called baseball. We play between the lines so they have to protect their players and they have to do what they have to do. It’s up to them.”
Bogaerts, who regretted not throwing to first base, said the Sox players were upset because of their high regard for Pedroia.
“I saw he passed the base, if you’re asking me. He injured the leader of our team,” Bogaerts said. “It was tough seeing him walk off the field right there. He’s the heart and soul of the team and he could barely walk off the field.”
Red Sox starter Drew Pomeranz (1-1) allowed two runs on five hits over 5⅓ innings. He walked two and struck out four.
The Orioles took a 1-0 lead in the third inning. Craig Gentry led off with a double down the line in left field. He took third on a passed ball by Christian Vazquez, who was late getting to a high fastball from Pomeranz.
Gentry scored when Adam Jones singled up the middle. Machado’s home run to left center gave Baltimore a 2-0 lead in the fifth inning.
The Sox had only six hits against Dylan Bundy (3-1) and three relievers. They were hitless in nine at-bats with runners in scoring position.
Bundy started the eighth inning but was taken out after Vazquez led off with a single. When Showalter called in lefthander Donnie Hart, Farrell countered by pinch hitting Chris Young, a righthanded hitter, for lefthanded-hitting Marco Hernandez.
Young drew a walk. Pedroia worked the count full before flying out deep to left field. Vazquez took a risk tagging up but was safe at third.
But Andrew Benintendi, who had earlier grounded into two double plays, struck out. Mookie Betts then popped to second.
As his manager and teammates seethed about Machado’s slide, Pedroia’s focus was elsewhere.
“I’m [ticked] we lost the game,’’ he said. “My job’s to get taken out and hang in there and turn double plays. That’s how you win games. I’m not mad. I’m mad we lost the game. We didn’t score any runs.”