Pedroia could return to lineup tonight

Pedroia could return to lineup tonight

BALTIMORE -- A day after fouling a ball off his face, Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia was better but still "sore," manager John Farrell said on Tuesday.

That said, Farrell expects Pedroia will start Wednesday night when the Red Sox and Orioles play the finale of this three-game series.

"I would think in an emergency only would we even consider putting him in a game, but [I] felt like after talking with him here and after he got checked out, felt like it was best to just hold him out a day," said Farrell. "I would expect him to be back in the lineup tomorrow, but there was no further imaging here today. Didn't feel like the follow-up with the medical staff warranted it. But he is sore, there's no question."

Pedroia entered the Sox's 1-0, 11-inning win over the Orioles on Tuesday night as a pinch-hitter in the 10th inning, but he grounded into an inning-ending double play.

Farrell wasn't sure if Pedroia would wear any added protection on his helmet when he returns.

"You know, good question, because you see so many guys wearing that facemask or that mouth protector, the jaw protector," Farrell said. "We haven't had that conversation yet."

Hanley Ramirez should also be back in Boston's lineup on Wednesday night after missing a week with a right biceps injury and ongoing discomfort in his shoulders.

In additional injury news, the Red Sox will wait and see how Eduardo Nunez is feeling on Wednesday to determine if he will test his injured right knee with baserunning drills. The right-handed hitter sustained the injury on Sept. 9.

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.