Red Sox activate second baseman Pedroia

Red Sox activate second baseman Pedroia

Red Sox activate second baseman Pedroia
Another key player returned to the Red Sox lineup on Thursday, as the club activated second baseman Dustin Pedroia from the 15-day DL in time for Thursday night's game against the White Sox. Infielder Mauro Gomez was sent down to Triple-A Pawtucket to make room for Pedroia.

Pedroia, who hasn't played since July 3 because of a strained right thumb, will start Thursday and bat third in the Red Sox lineup. Though he usually hits second, Pedroia was slotted in the three-hole Thursday night because of the recent return of left fielder Carl Crawford.

Crawford, who will hit No. 2 Thursday, made his return to the Boston lineup earlier this week. All-Star center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury also came back during Pedroia's absence, rejoining the lineup last Friday.

Pedroia is hitting .266 with six home runs and 33 RBIs in 74 games this season.

Paul Casella is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @paul_casella. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.