Pedroia incurs groin injury
With the wind whipping out to right field during early batting practice, Dustin Pedroia joked that if he were ever going to hit an opposite-field home run, this could be the night. But he barely had time to try.
Before the top of the fourth, Pedroia made an early exit with a strained right groin, which he aggravated on a swing before grounding out in the third. That left two key pieces of the Sox offense on the bench in the form of Pedroia and Kevin Youkilis, who missed his sixth straight game with left side tightness.
Before the game, Pedroia was asked if he still wanted to play all 162 games this season, as he had said in spring training.
"Yeah, it looks like I'm going to have to, with all these guys dropping like flies around here," Pedroia said, laughing.
An hour into the game, he had joined the list.
"I'm all right," Pedroia said after the game. "Kind of been playing with this for about a week and a half. Just took a swing and my cleat kind of got caught in the ground. Hurt pretty good. Day off tomorrow will be nice.
"Already talked to Tito [Terry Francona]. He won't let me play on Tuesday, so then we'll go on from there. I'll be out there as soon as I can."
Pedroia tried to turn on an inside fastball from Tampa Bay's Matt Garza, but got a cleat caught. Pedroia had hurt the groin getting out of the way of a pitch in New York, though he could not recall which game. Manager Terry Francona thought it was last Monday night's game.
"Stuff like that lingers," Pedroia said. "My thing is, you heal while you play. It was getting better until that."
Although Francona said Pedroia would not play tomorrow, Wednesday was a definite possibility.
With Hideki Okajima on the mound, much of the crowd started applauding for no reason that was evident on the field. Burrell, in fact, was confused enough that he stepped out of the batter's box and looked around.
Glen Davis's jumper at the buzzer had just gone in, and the Celtics had evened their series with Orlando.
"I didn't know if there was a big fight going on or did somebody run on the field," Burrell said. "Definitely, it was time to get out of the box. No idea.
"And then as soon as I thought about it, I said, 'Oh, it's probably hockey.' The home plate umpire said, 'I think it's basketball.' "
Adam Kilgore of the Globe staff contributed to this report. Amalie Benjamin can be reached at email@example.com.