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Pedroia, JBJ could rejoin Red Sox in Bronx

2B to give left knee strong test; Bradley (thumb) likely to be activated Saturday
MLB.com @IanMBrowne

TORONTO -- Dustin Pedroia will give his left knee a strong test during the three days the Red Sox are in Toronto, and the club should have a better idea of when he can return to action by the time the series ends Wednesday.

"He already ran earlier today, ran on the back edge of the infield to get some longer sprint work in," said Red Sox manager John Farrell before Monday's series opener against the Blue Jays. "He did some change of direction with some balls in the air. He'll hit live on the field today. The running will be the same [Tuesday]. Then Wednesday, we're of the plan that he would run the bases with a little more intensity."

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TORONTO -- Dustin Pedroia will give his left knee a strong test during the three days the Red Sox are in Toronto, and the club should have a better idea of when he can return to action by the time the series ends Wednesday.

"He already ran earlier today, ran on the back edge of the infield to get some longer sprint work in," said Red Sox manager John Farrell before Monday's series opener against the Blue Jays. "He did some change of direction with some balls in the air. He'll hit live on the field today. The running will be the same [Tuesday]. Then Wednesday, we're of the plan that he would run the bases with a little more intensity."

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Pedroia has played just one game in August and hasn't played second base for the Red Sox since July 28. Is there any chance the second baseman could return during the four-game series against the Yankees that starts Thursday in New York?

"We'll probably have a better read on that after Wednesday's work here," said Farrell. "That's the one thing, with the increased intensity and the change in direction and just the power that running the bases will generate, that will be a more indicative read at that point."

While Pedroia playing this weekend might be optimistic, it's realistic that center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. (sprained left thumb) could be activated when he is eligible Saturday.

Video: BOS@CLE: Bradley Jr. drills a solo homer to center

"At this point, yes," said Farrell. "He'll hit in the cage today, hit on the field [Tuesday]. So he's making really good strides the last three or four days."

Worth noting

• Slumping designated hitter Hanley Ramirez, who entered Monday slashing .200/.309/.357 with two homers in 81 plate appearances this month, was dropped to seventh in the batting order for the first time this season. In his first 410 at-bats, Ramirez had just 49 RBIs.

"We've had a lot of [RBI] opportunities that have come up, I think, probably Hanley would be one of the first ones to acknowledge that this month in particular has been a little bit of a tough stretch for him," said Farrell. "So it's a little bit of a shuffle to the lineup. When he's hitting to what he's had a long track record of doing, we're a very different offensive team."

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.

Boston Red Sox, Jackie Bradley Jr., Dustin Pedroia