KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Second baseman Dustin Pedroia got hit by a pitch in the top of the seventh inning Sunday night in Houston. But it wasn't until he was back in the Boston Red Sox's dugout in the eighth that it became clear something was wrong.
"I was kind of spitting up a little bit of blood," Pedroia said Monday, "so they kind of freaked out and made me go get tested to make sure everything was OK."
An X-ray late Sunday night was negative for any fractures, and further testing Monday confirmed those findings. But the back of Pedroia's rib cage, near his left lat muscle, was still too swollen and sore for the second baseman to be in the Red Sox's lineup for the opener of a three-game series against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium.
Pedroia will miss at least two games, according to manager John Farrell. It's possible he could be ready to play by Wednesday's series finale, although with a day off Thursday, the Red Sox could hold him out until they return to Fenway Park on Friday night.
Nevertheless, the Red Sox are relieved the diagnosis wasn't worse, especially after the way Pedroia was reacting late in the game Sunday night.
"After he kind of stripped down in the tunnel, it was clear he had to come out of the game immediately," Farrell said. "The way it was reacting and the quick swelling, we were fearing the potential of a fracture in there. Thankfully, there's not and we'll get him back there when he's first available."
Pedroia initially stayed in the game after being hit by a 92 mph fastball from Houston Astros reliever James Hoyt, even getting thrown out attempting to steal third base. He played defense in both the seventh and eighth innings before being replaced in the ninth.
"I was fine on the bases. I tried to steal third, I was fine," Pedroia said. "I've been hit a million times. It's part of the game. I didn't really think about it. I was more just playing the game and trying to win the game."
Pedroia, who was cleared to fly with the team to Kansas City late Sunday night, described the affected area as "pretty swollen and big and gross."
"It's still going to take a few days here for him to get back to full mobility and be able to rotate as he normally does swinging the bat," Farrell said. "There's quite a bit of fluid build-up in the area."