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With hamstring strain, even Dustin Pedroia can't dodge DL

BOSTON -- By any conventional standard, Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia should have spent considerable time on the disabled list in each of the last two seasons.

He tore a left thumb ligament in the first game of the season in 2013, and hurt his left thumb and wrist when his glove jammed awkwardly underneath him in the home opener in 2014.

Pedroia put off surgery in both instances, playing all but two games in 2013 before submitting to thumb surgery in November, then waiting until the last-place Sox were out of contention before having wrist/thumb surgery last September.

But even Pedroia is helpless in the face of a strained right hamstring, which is why he was placed on the 15-day disabled list Thursday, amid concerns that he could be out even longer. This is the first time Pedroia has been on the DL since 2012, when he sprained his right thumb. In 2010, he fouled a ball off his left foot and fractured his navicular bone, tried to play two games on it, went back on the DL and eventually required surgery in September.

Pedroia strained his hamstring while rounding first base after hitting a two-run single in the sixth inning of Wednesday’s 5-1 win over the Orioles. It was the first time he has been sidelined in his career with a hamstring injury.

“I’ve never pulled a muscle before,” he told reporters before the game. “It’s just kind of weird, right before I hit the bag, my foot kind of slipped out and I hit the bag with my left foot. I tried to recover and stop. So I slipped, basically.

“Those are things you can’t prevent. It’s frustrating mentally. You work hard in the weight room in the offseason trying to prevent injury and then little things happen. It’s tough but we’ll get through it. Guys will come together and hold it down until I get back and then we’ll go.

“Deal with it the best you can. Can’t dwell on it. It’s part of the game, I guess. You guys know me, I’ll be back as fast as I can.”

Pedroia was in early Thursday morning, receiving treatment.

“He’s the heart and soul of our team, in the short description of it,’’ Farrell said. “The way he plays, what he means in the clubhouse, what he means on the field with his performance, probably having a career year to date, hopefully this is on the shorter end of the time missed.

“In other words, after the 15 days hopefully he comes back to us, but there’s no projected date on his return. He’ll be back as soon as he’s capable.’’

Pedroia ranked ninth in the league in hitting with a .306 average at the time he was hurt. He ranked third in plate appearances (314), third in singles (63) and was tied for fourth in hits (86). In his last 30 games, Pedroia posted a slash line of .349/.385/.500/.885, numbers that would have been even higher if he had not gone 0-for-5 in two games last week while trying to play with a sore left knee.

With Pedroia out of the lineup, the Sox will play Brock Holt at second base, although Farrell said he could envision newly called up Deven Marrero playing second base against left-handers. Marrero, a former No. 1 draft choice (2012, 24th overall) out of Pedroia’s alma mater, Arizona State, has been almost exclusively a shortstop. At Pawtucket, he played 60 games at short, 5 at second, and 1 at third. He had a slash line of .241/.300/.345/.644 at Pawtucket, with 61 strikeouts in 232 at-bats.

“He’s a polished infielder,’’ Farrell said. “The bat came along a little bit in spring training, he showed an ability to drive the ball more consistently. He’s a very, very good defender, with exposure at both second and third recently. We’re fully confident and comfortable with him in this role.’’