Farrell expects Pedroia back for series finale
MRI on Sox star's right hand confirms no fracture or structural damage
BOSTON --- Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia was not in the lineup Saturday after exiting Friday night's game against the Rays with what the club called a "right hand contusion."
X-rays on Pedroia's hand came back negative Friday, and he underwent additional testing, including an MRI, before Saturday's game. The MRI confirmed no fracture or structural damage.
After Saturday's 7-1 win, manager John Farrell said he expected to have Pedroia back in the lineup Sunday.
The second baseman landed awkwardly on his right hand after catching a throw from A.J. Pierzynski with Tampa Bay outfielder Wil Myers stealing second in the second inning of Friday night's 3-2 win.
Jonathan Herrera made his 12th start of the season and first since May 11 in Pedroia's place. The 29-year-old utility man said he enjoys playing his part --- wherever and whenever he's needed. In Saturday's win, he put down a bunt that turned into an RBI single.
"He stays prepared," Farrell said. "He's a true pro. He understands his role and accepts it, and that's why he's stayed in the Major Leagues as long as he has, in addition to his talents."
Bradley OK after ball off nose, collision with wall
BOSTON -- In the top of the eighth inning at Fenway Park on Saturday night, Red Sox center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. darted left toward the wall in pursuit of a hard-hit line drive off the bat of Kevin Kiermaier.
Initially, Bradley felt he had it. But just seconds later, he was laying on the warning track in pain -- motionless for a moment -- as Kiermaier scored on an inside-the-park home run to put Tampa Bay on the board in Boston's 7-1 victory.
So what was Bradley's first question to the training staff, even with blood gushing from his nose, after running into the wall?
"I asked them how close I was to it," Bradley said, laughing. "That was my first question."
Bradley said he didn't feel any pain from his seemingly violent collision with the Green Monster, but instead got knocked down by the ball, which caromed off the wall and directly into his nose. He played the rest of the inning with gauze in his nostril. It's not broken, Bradley said, but was still bleeding periodically in the clubhouse after the game.
"He might be a little bit lighter on the blood," Red Sox manager John Farrell said, "but other than that, he makes a heck of an effort."
As for Kiermaier, he thought Bradley had a pretty good route on the ball initially. But as he rounded second, he saw Bradley jump, then saw the ball roll away from the Red Sox center fielder.
"I was around second base with a ton of adrenaline going," he said. "And I was pretty excited that [third-base coach Tom Foley] sent me."
Bradley wasn't the only one to take a ball off the nose Saturday night. Rays catcher Ali Solis fell victim to the same fate when a breaking ball in the dirt deflected off the top of A.J. Pierzynski's shinguard and into Solis' nose in the third. He left with a nasal contusion.
Nava optioned to Triple-A to open spot for De La Rosa
BOSTON --- The Red Sox optioned Daniel Nava to Triple-A Pawtucket to make room for right-hander Rubby De La Rosa, who started Saturday against the Rays.
Red Sox manager John Farrell said given the workload the bullpen has shouldered in the last week, it made more sense to keep righty Alex Wilson on the roster for "multi-inning capability."
Nava has struggled this season, posting a .130/.221/.234 slash line in 77 at-bats. He was optioned April 23 and made some adjustments to his stance, but has gone 0-for-10 in five games since returning last week.
"You go with who you feel is putting up your best at-bats a time," Farrell said when asked whether he would have liked to have gotten Nava more at-bats in his most recent recall. "The opportunities didn't present themselves as much for Daniel."
The 31-year-old had a .303/.385/.445 slash line in 134 games last season.
"When Daniel's right, it's one of the purest left-handed swings we have," Farrell said. "He's still working back to gain that consistency."
Farrell said he wanted to keep Alex Hassan's right-handed bat on the 25-man roster to balance the lineup, given how many lefties his team already has. Hassan was called up for the first time Friday when Ryan Lavarnway went on the 15-day disabled list with a left hamate (wrist) fracture that will require surgery.
• The Red Sox are going to get Brock Holt some work in both the outfield and at first base as Stephen Drew's looming return to the club will crowd the left side of the infield.
Holt came up in the Pirates system as a second baseman, but has played exclusively at third base for the Red Sox this season. When Drew is called up from Triple-A Pawtucket --- he's eligible Monday --- he'll likely play shortstop and Xander Bogaerts will move to third. But Holt will likely stay on as a utility infielder.
Holt has a .299/.349/.390 slash line this season and has hit leadoff for Boston every day since May 23. He's reached safely in 10 of the last 11 games.
"His play and his contributions merit additional flexibility," Farrell said.
Steven Petrella is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.