TORONTO -- When the Red Sox open their homestand against the Baltimore Orioles on Tuesday night, Dustin Pedroia expects to return to the lineup.
Pedroia exited a game on May 28 with discomfort in his right hand. The next day, the second baseman was diagnosed with a torn adductor muscle in his right thumb.
He avoided a stint to the 15-day disabled list and resumed batting practice on Saturday, hitting with a specially fitted brace over his hand. When Pedroia got to the park on Sunday, he had no swelling or other ill effects from his hitting session.
As he packed up and got ready for the flight home, Pedroia was asked what was next in his progression.
"Play Tuesday," said Pedroia.
When Mike Aviles got hit on the throwing hand during Saturday's game, Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine was set to insert Pedroia into the game. The Red Sox didn't have any other infielders on the bench. Aviles was able to stay in the game.
"The good thing is he feels good," said Valentine. "When Mike got hit with that ball, [Pedroia] was ready to go out in the field. I wasn't really hesitant. So we'll see."