Dustin Pedroia back in lineup

Dustin Pedroia hits a sacrifice fly in the fifth inning. Bob DeChiara/US Presswire

BOSTON -- Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia was back in the lineup Tuesday against the Baltimore Orioles after missing the last six games with a partially torn adductor muscle in his right thumb.

He was in his usual spot, hitting second. He was 0-for-3 with two strikeouts in Boston's 8-6 loss, but he did contribute a walk and a sacrifice fly for his 22nd RBI of the season.

Pedroia took swings while wearing a protective brace Saturday in Toronto and did not experience any setbacks.

On Sunday, he predicted he'd be ready to play Tuesday as the Red Sox kick off a six-game homestand against the Orioles.

Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine explained that he had a heart-to-heart conversation with Pedroia on Tuesday and the manager wanted to hear the truth on how he was feeling.

"He said he feels perfect," Valentine said. "He had no reservations about doing everything that he has to do out on the baseball field. There's no swelling. There's no pain. There's a 100 percent green light from the training room."

Pedroia will wear a small protective guard around his right thumb only when he hits.

When the Red Sox decided to sideline Pedroia, he was hitting .295 with five homers and 21 RBIs in 48 games.