Web Analytics and Web Statistics by NextSTAT The Boston Sports Nut: Welcome to the Pedey and Papi show

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Welcome to the Pedey and Papi show

September 2. BOSTON -- The public address announcer had already gone through the lineups and the first strains of the national anthem were about to follow when Boston's scheduled No. 4 hitter, first baseman Kevin Youkilis, was scratched with back spasms.
There was only one place for manager Terry Francona to turn: Dustin Pedroia

The diminutive second baseman filled in at cleanup for the third time in four games and delivered a career high-tying five RBIs on Tuesday night to lead Boston to a 14-2 victory over the struggling Baltimore Orioles. "It was a quick move tonight," Francona said. "We put Petey in the four-hole and he just continues to get hits." Pedroia had a double, a homer and a single, and is batting .600 (18-for-30) over the last seven games to raise his AL-leading average to .330. A year after hitting eight homers and winning the AL rookie of the year award, Pedroia has 16 homers for the season.

The numbers are typical of a cleanup hitter, but not the kind that were expected from a feisty, 5-foot-9 second baseman. But with Youkilis ailing, Pedroia has gone 7-for-12 while providing protection for slugger David Ortiz. "It's funny to see him come up after Ortiz, a big burly guy," teammate Mark Kotsay said. Ortiz and Coco Crisp also had three hits on Tuesday, and Ortiz added four RBIs as the Red Sox won for the 10th time in 14 games. Boston cut its deficit in the AL East to four games behind Tampa Bay, which lost 7-2 to the New York Yankees; the Red Sox lead the wild-card by four games.

Jon Lester (13-5) allowed one run and six hits, striking ouPedroia hit .374 in August, scoring 33 runs in the month and convincing Red Sox fans that he should be the AL MVP. Pedroia is doing his best to tune out the "MVP!" chants when he is in the batter's box.t five and walking four in five innings while the Sox bashed 20 hits in the 14-2 victory.

The "MVP! MVP!" chants continue from adoring fans who are continually amazed that such a small player can generate so much power. Yet again last night, Dustin Pedroia, hitting cleanup after Kevin Youkilis was a late scratch with back spasms, thumped the baseball in a manner that would make Albert Pujols jealous.

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