Notes: Pedroia right at home
Sacramento-area product on top of his game in front of friends
OAKLAND -- Dustin Pedroia received an early morning phone call in his hotel room on Monday. It had nothing to do with being named American League Player of the Week, or being named Rookie of the Month for May.The call was placed by Oakland outfielder Travis Buck, who didn't intend to wake up his old college teammate at Arizona State a few hours after Pedroia had finally gotten to sleep. Still, it was a conversation Pedroia enjoyed. "Oh yeah, I'm a close friend of his," Pedroia said. "He's been hitting pretty good. He woke me up but it was OK. We talked about Arizona State winning their regional." Pedroia, who extended his hitting streak to 13 games on Sunday night, was surrounded by family and friends during Monday's game against the A's. The product of Woodland High (near Sacramento) attracted a large contingent to McAfee Coliseum. "I only had to leave about 15 tickets because my friends were pretty good about it," Pedroia said. "They all went online and bought tickets." No matter what happens in his second trip through Oakland, Pedroia has a lot to celebrate with his family and friends. Pedroia ended April with a .172 batting average. He's hit at a .443 clip since, the best mark in baseball. That led to his AL Rookie of the Month award. A recent surge -- .609 batting average with six doubles and six RBIs in six games last week -- earned him AL Player of the Week honors. "It's awesome," Pedroia said. "A lot of hard work, you get on a roll, and that's about it. I've come a long way since the beginning of the year." Pedroia drove in his first career run last August in Oakland, but that was about it. He went 2-for-11 and the A's swept the Red Sox. After a slow start this year, Pedroia is currently sitting atop the baseball world. "I always felt like it would come," he said. "I wasn't overmatched. I was getting the bat on the ball. Obviously you get upset when things aren't going well but if you believe in yourself, things turn around." His old Sun Devils teammate agreed. "He's always been a good hitter," Buck said. "It was only a matter of time before he started hitting the way he is. We loved playing with him [at ASU]." Crisp sidelined: Center fielder Coco Crisp was scratched from the lineup Monday.
Crisp, who was in the starting lineup, left with an upset stomach.
He was originally slated to bat seventh, but when the Red Sox took the field in the bottom of the first, he was replaced by Wily Mo Pena.
Crisp is hitting .238 with a homer this season and Pena was hitting .229 with three homers entering Monday.
On the mend: Left-hander Jon Lester didn't let a little rain delay get in the way of a good rehab outing. Lester allowed one run on four hits in an 87-pitch outing on Monday, helping Triple-A Pawtucket to a 4-1 win over the Norfolk Tides.Lester has a 1.26 ERA over six starts spanning 28 2/3 innings with Pawtucket and is 1-1 with a 1.51 ERA overall, including three starts for Class A Greenville. "I got a text message back from him and he said he felt real good," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. The former second-round draft pick faced four batters over the minimum, striking out one and issuing just one walk. Luis Montanez's leadoff homer in the sixth inning accounted for the Tides' only run. Lester is trying to revive his Major League career after being diagnosed with anaplastic large cell lymphoma last August. Mike Timlin also got into the act, allowing one hit in two scoreless innings in Pawtucket's second game against the Tides. He threw 21 pitches. "We'd like to get him one more inning in a couple of days and then activate him," Francona said. That would put Timlin on pace to rejoin the Red Sox for their weekend series in Arizona. Where's Drew? J.D. Drew returned to the lineup after missing two days with tendinitis. "I'll feel better when I see him out in right field," Francona said. "He's been running fine but I like to see him making breaks, things like that." Francona inserted Drew in the sixth spot to try to combat the plethora of left-handed relievers in the A's bullpen. "We try to construct the best lineup we can," Francona said. "We wanted to space it out and get some balance because of the schedule." Friendly fans: The Red Sox have always had a good following wherever they played, and Oakland is no exception. "We get a boost everywhere we go," Doug Mirabelli said. "It seems like we have as many fans as the home team. The Red Sox nation picks us up." The Red Sox needed a boost after traveling all night from Boston to Oakland, arriving in the Bay Area about 4:30 a.m. PT on Monday and getting into their rooms by 5:30 p.m. "I might have napped," Francona said. Up next: Dice-K mania hits the West Coast as right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka (7-3, 4.83) starts Tuesday in a 10:05 p.m. ET contest against former Red Sox Lenny DiNardo (1-2, 2.80).
Rick Eymer is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.