BRADENTON, Fla. — First baseman Steve Pearce left the Red Sox’ split-squad game against the Pirates Sunday after grounding out to shortstop in the top of the first inning due to what he characterized as discomfort in his lower left leg.
Though he felt fine swinging the bat, he felt discomfort running down the line. Pearce described his exit as precautionary rather than the product of an acute injury, but said he didn’t want to take any chances turning a minor situation into a potentially more significant one.
“I’m feeling something that I don’t want to feel,” said Pearce. “The younger me would have tried to push through it. I don’t think I would have liked the outcome if I would have kept going, but there’s no injury right now. I didn’t feel a pop. There wasn’t anything that was too alarming. I just don’t like how it is right now.”
Pearce said that he’d been feeling some discomfort throughout the day on Sunday, but that after taking the 90-minute journey up to the game, and with limited facilities on the road, his lower leg never loosened to the point of complete comfort.
Even so, Pearce said that he doesn’t believe that the condition is anything that will impede his readiness for the start of the season.
“Knowing the season is coming up, they might just say take a couple days and we’ll get right back at it,” said Pearce. “Personally, I’m not worried about it. . . . I’m not concerned about it at all.”
If the Red Sox decide to hold out Pearce for precautionary reasons for a day or two, the 35-year-old isn’t concerned, given that he’s recently established his timing at the plate. In his last three games, he’s 3 for 6 with two homers and a double, with a feel that diminishes his need to get more at-bats.
“I’m not lost,” Pearce said. “I feel like I have a clue at the plate.”