In rare slump, Pedroia gets two days off

In rare slump, Pedroia gets two days off

PHILADELPHIA -- When the Red Sox come back to work following a day off Monday, they hope to have a rejuvenated Dustin Pedroia.

The second baseman has been in a rare slump, going 4-for-36 in his past eight games. Red Sox manager Terry Francona gave Pedroia a day off Sunday, which was a perfect prelude to the team's off-day Monday.

"I think [Sunday] was really good for him to get a day off and just kind of sit back," said hitting coach Dave Magadan. "He didn't even take batting practice. He just kind of stepped back and took it easy. [We have a] day off [Monday], then Tuesday, he'll be ready to go."

Though Pedroia is one of the most durable players in the game, the grind of the season catches up to everyone from time to time.

"I'm just beat up a little bit," said Pedroia. "My legs feel heavy. Tito, he always seems like he makes [the day off] the right time."

Any reason for Pedroia's lack of hits in recent games?

"I think he's probably pressing a little bit," said Magadan. "It's just like any other period of not getting hits. You go a couple of games and you start pressing a little bit, and then you start getting outside of the strike zone and then you start trying to get two hits in one at-bat, and then before you know it, it's turned into a 30- or 40- at-bat drought."

Pedroia, now in his third year, is taking his mini-slump in stride.

"I've just hit one of those things where I'm not getting a lot of hits," Pedroia said. "Guys go through that. I'm not worried about it. I'll figure it out. I'm just trying to find that consistency. I'm hitting around .300, that's pretty consistent, but I haven't found that swing to maintain it throughout the year like I did last year, but it will come. I'm not panicking or anything like that. I'll be fine."

Though Pedroia has gotten more even-keeled with each year of experience, he is still known for his intensity.

"I think he's still pretty fiery," Magadan said. "He doesn't like letting the team down. I think that's part of what makes him such a good player. He's got that inner drive. Sometimes you've got to kind of shift gears and kind of slow down a little bit, and Tuesday, he'll be ready to go."

Pitching matchup
BOS: RHP Tim Wakefield (8-3, 4.50 ERA)
Wakefield turned in his eighth quality start of the season Wednesday against the Yankees, limiting the Bronx Bombers to three runs over six innings for his eighth victory. He has reeled off four wins in his past five decisions, anchoring a rotation that has been buoyed by the improved efforts of Josh Beckett and Jon Lester. In 43 career innings against the Marlins, the veteran knuckleballer is 3-3 with a 5.65 ERA.

FLA: RHP Chris Volstad (4-6, 4.07 ERA)
Volstad's last outing was the worst in his young career. For the first time in his career, he allowed six runs, 10 hits and did not strike out a batter. The 22-year-old was in trouble in almost every inning when he faced the Cardinals last Tuesday and struggled from the start, allowing a three-run homer in the top of the first. In his next start, Volstad will make his Interleague debut against the Red Sox.

David Ortiz is hitting .289 with two doubles, three homers and seven RBIs over his past 11 games ... Kevin Youkilis has reached base safely in the past 13 games ... George Kottaras, who starts behind the plate on Tuesday, is still looking for his first Major League homer.

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 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

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Up next
• Wednesday: Red Sox (Brad Penny, 5-2, 5.32) vs. Marlins (Andrew Miller, 2-2, 4.30), 7:10 p.m. ET
• Thursday: Red Sox (Jon Lester, 5-5, 4.76) vs. Marlins (Ricky Nolasco, 2-6, 7.62), 7:10 p.m. ET
• Friday: Red Sox (Daisuke Matsuzaka, 1-4, 7.55) vs. Braves (Kenshin Kawakami, 3-6, 4.54), 7:10 p.m. ET

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