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Pedroia not sweating recent rut

Pedroia not sweating recent rut

PHILADEPHIA -- Though he often resembles a hitting machine, even Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia can get into slumps.

Pedroia -- who was the American League's Most Valuable Player last year -- is in one of those rare ruts.

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After going 0-for-7 for the first time in his career in Friday night's 13-inning, 5-2 win over the Phillies, Pedroia has just three hits in his last 32 at-bats.

"That's kind of hard to do -- not strike out and go 0-for-7," quipped Pedroia. "I was just thinking about that. That stuff happens. I hit a couple of balls good. It will all play out. It will be fine."

Pedroia, now in his third season, is mature enough to know that these things happen. There's not even always a particularly good reason for it.

"About the same time last year, he had a little streak, right in Interleague. And then he'll turn around and get just as hot," said manager Terry Francona. "Pedey hits the way he hits. He can take a hard stride and shoot a ball to right or hit a home run. He's taken some pretty good swings. He just had an 0-fer. It's been a tougher week for him. He'll be fine. I don't think that will be a concern."

Pedroia didn't seem concerned.

"I haven't had the best at-bats, but the balls I have hit hard seem to get caught," Pedroia said. "You hit stretches like that throughout the year. I'm not too concerned. We'll get in there tomorrow and work on it."

Pitching matchup
BOS: RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka (1-4, 7.33 ERA)
Matsuzaka struggled again in his sixth start of the season, giving up five runs on 10 hits and a wild pitch in 5 2/3 innings, while striking out eight without issuing a walk as the Rangers beat the Red Sox, 6-3, on Sunday at Fenway Park. Matsuzaka posted season highs in innings, pitches (102), hits allowed and strikeouts, and he tied his season high in runs allowed. Boston is 1-5 in Matsuzaka's starts this season. He has not faced the Phillies in his career.

PHI: LHP Antonio Bastardo (2-0, 2.45 ERA)
The rookie left-hander has impressed in his first two starts in the Major Leagues, taking the place of injured right-hander Brett Myers in the rotation. Bastardo is 1-0 with a 2.45 ERA in his first two starts. He pitched mostly on adrenaline in his big league debut on June 2 against the Padres at PETCO Park. Bastardo mixed his pitches a little better on Sunday against the Dodgers in Los Angeles, where he allowed two runs in five-plus innings in a 7-2 victory. Phillies manager Charlie Manuel is hoping Bastardo continues to throw more offspeed pitches to keep hitters honest. But so far, so good for Bastardo.

Tidbits
After struggling on the road earlier this season, the Red Sox have now won five in a row away from Fenway. ... Pedroia's 10-game hitting streak in Interleague Play was snapped Friday. ... David Ortiz is expected to get the night off Saturday, with no designated hitter at Citizens Bank Park.

Tickets
 Buy tickets now to catch the game in person.

On the Internet
 MLB.TV
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television
• NESN

On radio
• WRKO 680, SBN 1150 (Español)

Up next
• Sunday: Red Sox (Josh Beckett, 7-2, 3.77) at Phillies (J.A. Happ, 4-0, 2.98), 1:35 p.m. ET
• Monday: Off-day
• Tuesday: Red Sox (Tim Wakefield, 8-3, 4.50) vs. Marlins (Chris Volstad, 4-6, 4.07), 7:10 p.m. ET

Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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