BOSTON — Dustin Pedroia dove down, snagged a grounder and fired a pinpoint throw to first base. It was a defensive masterpiece, one that retired Detroit's Danny Worth and ended the fifth inning. But it also resulted in an injury.
Following the play in Monday's 7-4 victory, the Red Sox second baseman left the game with a jammed right thumb. Pedroia was unavailable for comment after the game.
Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine didn't sound optimistic about Pedroia's playing status for Tuesday's game.
"Right now, I don't think he'll play if I was a betting man," the skipper said. "But don't bet on it. It hasn't been diagnosed as a sprain. It's just swollen. You could tell there's something there."
Pedroia's teammates, however, thought otherwise. Ryan Sweeney and Mike Aviles, who has developed a rhythm with Pedroia in the middle infield, fully anticipate a prompt return from the 2008 American League MVP.
"In all honesty, I guess his thumb was jammed pretty good," Aviles said. "He got a couple of innings off and I'm pretty sure he's going to be in there tomorrow. There's not that many people that can stop him from getting back in that lineup."
"I think he's fine," Sweeney said. "I think he just has a little bruise on his thumb. He's a tough guy who plays every single day. I think he'll be fine."
Before leaving, Pedroia collected an RBI single in the third inning, driving in Daniel Nava to cap a three-run inning. He finished the game 1-for-3 with an RBI.
For now, the Red Sox will await results from his exams.