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Dustin Pedroia HRs put him way ahead of 2014

PHILADELPHIA -- Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia did not hit his first home run in 2014 until May 2, the team’s 30th game of the season.

It took Pedroia three pitches in 2015 to hit his first home run. Pedroia drove a 1-and-1 pitch from Philadelphia Phillies ace Cole Hamels into the left-field seats to give the Sox a 1-0 lead over the Phillies on Monday.

Pedroia then homered for the second time in the game off Hamels in the fifth. He didn’t hit his second home run in 2014 until May 11, the team’s 37th game, and hit seven overall last season.

This was his first two-homer game since Sept. 13, 2011 against Toronto.

Pedroia has pronounced himself fully recovered from the thumb and wrist surgery he underwent last Sept. 11 (first dorsal compartment release and a tenosynovectomy), and Red Sox manager John Farrell said the second baseman no longer is hindered in swinging at pitches up and in, which kept him from turning on balls and pulling them to the left side.

The home run also gave Pedroia at least one hit in all nine openers in which he has played. He is the first Sox player in at least 100 years to hit safely in his first nine openers. It is the longest streak by a Sox player on Opening Day since Carl Yastrzemski hit safely in 13 straight openers (1968-1980).