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Machado slide leads to tense Sox-O's ending

Pedroia injured in collision with Baltimore 3B, prompting discussion about double-play rule
Special to MLB.com

BALTIMORE -- The Red Sox missed on a number of good scoring chances on Friday, a big reason the Orioles handed them a 2-0 loss in the opener of a three-game series. After the game, though, the bigger subject of conversation in the Boston clubhouse was that the team nearly lost second baseman Dustin Pedroia. The play in question was, in fact, a primary topic in both clubhouses.

Pedroia hurt his left leg when Manny Machado slid into him as the second baseman was catching a throw at the bag in the eighth inning. The Red Sox needed to help Pedroia off the field after the play, but he said if he feels OK Saturday, he will try to play.

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BALTIMORE -- The Red Sox missed on a number of good scoring chances on Friday, a big reason the Orioles handed them a 2-0 loss in the opener of a three-game series. After the game, though, the bigger subject of conversation in the Boston clubhouse was that the team nearly lost second baseman Dustin Pedroia. The play in question was, in fact, a primary topic in both clubhouses.

Pedroia hurt his left leg when Manny Machado slid into him as the second baseman was catching a throw at the bag in the eighth inning. The Red Sox needed to help Pedroia off the field after the play, but he said if he feels OK Saturday, he will try to play.

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"I feel all right; I just got some treatment and stuff, but I'm all right," Pedroia said. "It was the knee I had surgery on in the offseason. I just got caught in a weird position. I don't know what hit the side of my knee. ... It kind of pushed it in a little bit. It was a different feeling. It worries you at first."

Boston manager John Farrell was upset not only at the slide, but at the fact that the Red Sox were not awarded a double play. A new rule, 6.01(j), was instituted before the 2016 season with the intention of protecting middle infielders against dangerous slides. Machado was ruled out on the play, but no double play was awarded.

"Extremely late slide," Farrell said. "The argument at the time was if the rule's in place to protect the middle infielder, well, then it didn't work tonight. I know there's a component to the rule that says he's got to deliberately and willfully attempt a double play. When you're cleaned out beyond second base, and the runner never held second base completely, to me, the rule failed tonight."

Farrell would not say that Machado made a dirty play but repeated the slide was late.

"It was a late slide and when you slide past the base and do not hold continual contact, that's violation of the rule," Farrell said.

Third-base coach Brian Butterfield was ejected as the top of the ninth began.

Video: BOS@BAL: Red Sox third-base coach ejected in the 9th

Machado said that he texted Pedroia after the game, and he appeared to reach out to steady the second baseman on the play. The Orioles challenged the out call at second base, but the call on the field was confirmed.

"I tried ... everything possible to be safe and get myself in a good position," Machado said. "So, it wasn't intentional. I was trying to get on the bag. I mean, once I hit the bag, I came up instantly [and that's] when I hit him. That was one of the reasons I was out, because I went to go grab him."

Pedroia shrugged off talk regarding any potential rule violations. The Boston second baseman did not seem too concerned about what the rule is or does. He just wants to get back and play as soon as possible.

"I don't even know what the rule is," Pedroia said. "I've turned the best double play in the Major Leagues for 11 years. I don't need a ... rule. The rule's irrelevant. The rule's for people with bad footwork."

Just before walking out of the Boston clubhouse, limping slightly, Pedroia said the loss is what bugged him after the game, not the Machado slide.

"I'm [upset] we lost the game," Pedroia said. "My job is to get taken out and hang in there and turn double plays. That's how you win games. I'm not mad."

Jeff Seidel is a contributor to MLB.com based in Baltimore.

Boston Red Sox, Dustin Pedroia