Pedroia has knack for hitting balls outside zone

Pedroia has knack for hitting balls outside zone

BOSTON -- Manager Terry Francona continues to preach the importance of swinging at strikes to all of his hitters, but there's one person he doesn't include in that conversation.

After Dustin Pedroia took a shoulder-high fastball and planted it in the parking lot over the left-field wall during Thursday's 10-4 win over the Orioles, that will surely continue.

"That's why I never really talk to him about it," Francona said.

Pedroia, who extended his hitting streak to 10 games with a first-inning single Friday, has a knack for hitting pitches he shouldn't, leading the team in percentage of balls hit that were out of the strike zone (82.4 percent), according to FanGraphs.

Yet he's been somewhat of an enigma this season, on pace to shatter his career high in walks with 61 free passes through 330 at-bats. Even more ironic, 28 percent of the pitches he swings at are outside of the zone, also a career high.

Francona said Pedroia certainly hasn't appeared more selective at the plate this season, but he's been happy with the walk totals.

"I just think that he's working the counts real well, and then he gets it to two strikes and he's laying off that [bad] pitch," the skipper said. "His approach, to me, seems pretty similar."

Jason Mastrodonato is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.