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TON -- Considering all that Dustin Pedroia means to the Red Sox, it is concerning whenever he leaves a game with an injury.
But after Tuesday night's 7-5 win against the Marlins, Pedroia was hopeful he didn't suffer a significant setback with the right thumb injury that knocked him out of six games in late May and early June.
After being jammed on a foulout to first in the bottom of the seventh inning on Tuesday, Pedroia shook his right hand and then went through the dugout and straight to the clubhouse.
Nick Punto replaced Pedroia at second base for the start of the eighth inning.
Expect further tests to be taken on Wednesday, even if they're just precautionary.
"It's early for a complete update, of course," said Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine. "He said -- this is third-hand -- that he was more fearful than he was injured. The ball was an inside pitch that pushed the bat back in his hand the way he didn't want it to. He pushed back. It was about 95 mph. And he thought it might have been a recurrence. We'll see how it is tomorrow."
Pedroia left a game on May 28 against the Tigers with an injury that was later diagnosed as a torn adductor muscle in his right thumb.
He returned to the lineup on June 5 against the Orioles. When Pedroia first came back, he was using a brace to protect his thumb from impact while hitting. But he wasn't comfortable with it and scrapped it after two games.
Pedroia entered Tuesday's game with just eight hits in 50 at-bats since returning from the injury. But there were signs of life, as Pedroia had two hits, including a double, on Sunday against the Cubs. In his first at-bat Tuesday, he cranked a double off the Green Monster.
Pedroia isn't having his usual season thus far, hitting .269 with five homers and 26 RBIs.
His teammates would not be surprised at all if he's in the lineup on Wednesday.
"He's a different breed," said Red Sox shortstop Mike Aviles. "When you see him come out, it's not really that big of a deal, because he's the kind of guy that he'll be over here and you've got to fight him to not let him play tomorrow -- that's just the way he is. Whenever he comes out, the first question is, 'Are you all right?' And he's saying, 'I'm fine, I'm fine, I'll be here tomorrow.'"