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Pedroia's bat sizzling since before break

Riding 9-game hit streak, Red Sox star batting .412 in 2nd half
MLB.com

BOSTON -- As a 12-year Major League veteran, Dustin Pedroia understands that you only get about 650 at-bats a season, so you better make them count.

The Red Sox playmaker did so Thursday afternoon, crushing a three-run homer over the Green Monster in the Red Sox's 8-6 loss to the Blue Jays at Fenway Park.

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BOSTON -- As a 12-year Major League veteran, Dustin Pedroia understands that you only get about 650 at-bats a season, so you better make them count.

The Red Sox playmaker did so Thursday afternoon, crushing a three-run homer over the Green Monster in the Red Sox's 8-6 loss to the Blue Jays at Fenway Park.

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The blast was the latest highlight in Pedroia's offensive tear since returning from the All-Star break.

During Boston's eight-game homestand to open the second half, Pedroia hit .412 with two home runs and 11 RBIs. He is also riding a nine-game hitting streak.

"Since the break, he's been a money player for us," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "The big three-run homer to bring us back within one today. It's good to see him break out with the power that has been there in the past, and in the last 10-12 ballgames, it's been even more so."

Video: TOR@BOS: Pedroia singles to score Betts from second

Even before the break, Pedroia was posting impressive numbers. Since June 26, he leads the Majors with 27 RBIs and ranks second with 34 hits in 21 games.

Pedroia owes some of his performance Thursday to Hanley Ramirez, who played first base and gave the Red Sox's go-to second baseman a chance to be the designated hitter. Otherwise, Farrell says, Pedroia would have had the day off with Brock Holt playing second.

As for what has resulted in the recent power surge, Farrell thinks it comes down to Pedroia executing his technique when he's at full health.

"It's a matter of him feeling like he's got strength in his lower half, to have the explosiveness for the leg drive in the batter's box," Farrell said. "That's goes back to the fact earlier in the season, when maybe the knee was a little bit more sore at times. Pedey is a guy that we know, regardless of the ailment, he's going to find a way to get his best bat speed and best impact."

Pedroia had left knee surgery in the offseason, and left a May 26 game against the Rangers with pain in that knee.

Video: TOR@BOS: Pedroia slugs a solo shot to left-center

As far as how he assesses his health, the second baseman refuses to let that be an excuse for his performance.

"I feel the same as I did since at-bat one," Pedroia said. "You know you're in for a long season and just got to try to find a way every at-bat to have a good at-bat. Sometimes you do, sometimes you don't. Through the course of the year, if you stick with the process and the plan, you'll be wherever you need to be."

If there's one dour note on Pedroia's recent stretch, it's that the he committed his first error in 114 games Wednesday going for a ground ball. With the Red Sox's hunt for October likely to hit its highs and lows, the team's leader preaches that everything just needs to be taken in stride.

"Sometimes you're not going to be good, and sometimes you're going to be real good," Pedroia said. "I understand that and know not to get too high when you're doing good and not to get too low when you're doing bad. You are who you are."

Evan Chronis is a reporter for MLB.com based in Boston.

Boston Red Sox, Dustin Pedroia