Pedroia returns to lineup in DH role

Pedroia returns to lineup in DH role

ST. PETERSBURG -- Dustin Pedroia was back in the Red Sox's starting lineup against the Rays on Tuesday, but his return to the field has not been set, said manager John Farrell.

Pedroia was activated from the 10-day disabled list Tuesday after being sidelined since July 29 with inflammation in his left knee. He batted second as the designated hitter, going 0-for-4 with a run scored in Boston's 2-0 win.

"It felt, with being in the DH spot today, that it'll be a gradual build-up," Farrell said. "I wouldn't say it's unlikely he plays second base [on Wednesday], but we'll see how he comes out of tonight with the Thursday off-day."

It was the second time this season that Pedroia had landed on the DL because of the surgically repaired knee. Farrell has plenty of defensive options at second base, so he won't press Pedroia, who entered the game hitting .307 with six home runs and 54 RBIs. Utility man Eduardo Nunez got the start on Tuesday. Farrell said that Brock Holt could also be in the mix for additional playing time.

"With our versatility, we've got a number of guys that we can move around the infield, and that's always a positive," Farrell said.

To make room for Pedroia on the active roster, right-hander Blaine Boyer was placed on the 10-day DL with a neck strain.

Hanley close to return, Price resumes throwing

Designated hitter/first baseman Hanley Ramirez said that he is ready to play. Farrell and the Red Sox, however, are being cautious. Ramirez has missed the past three games with an oblique muscle strain.

"With an oblique, honestly, with a hitter, while he feels like he is ready to go today, a workday was going to be important to make sure we test it," Farrell said. "I didn't want to put him in a spot where if he over-swings, we set him back."

With Boston expected to face left-handers on Friday and Sunday against the New York Yankees, Farrell is hoping to also mix Ramirez in at first base to allow Pedroia additional time at DH.

Heading into Tuesday, Ramirez was second on the team in home runs (17) while batting .250 with 42 RBIs.

After a slight setback over the weekend, left-hander David Price resumed his rehabilitation process after experiencing soreness in his throwing elbow. Price made 25-28 throws from 60 feet -- all fastballs -- before Boston's game against the Rays at Tropicana Field on Tuesday.

"We are approaching it day to day when it comes to his throwing program," Farrell said.

Price has been limited to just 11 starts in 2017 due to the elbow inflammation, going 5-3 with a 3.82 ERA.

J. Scott Butherus is a contributor to MLB.com based in St. Petersburg and covered the Red Sox on Tuesday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.