Following birth of second son, Pedroia returns to lineup

Following birth of second son, Pedroia returns to lineup

TORONTO -- Dustin Pedroia returned to the Red Sox's starting lineup, batting in the No. 3 spot and playing second base for Saturday's contest against the Blue Jays.

The three-time All-Star arrived in Toronto late Friday night after missing the club's past two games to be with his wife who delivered the couple's second son, Cole, on Thursday morning.

"It's awesome. He's big. He's almost nine pounds," Pedroia said. "It all worked out great. They're both healthy, and it's all I could ask for."

Pedroia returned to the lineup on a three-game multihit streak and has hit safely in all but three of 35 games since Aug. 5. Among American League players with at least 200 plate appearances since the All-Star break, Pedroia has the fourth-highest batting average at .340, and is sixth with a .947 OPS.

"I missed being around the guys and doing what I can to help them out, so it's good to be back," Pedroia said.

Manager Bobby Valentine is glad to have the former American League MVP back in Boston's lineup.

"He said he needs no time to get ready. He's ready," Valentine said.