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Pablo Sandoval back in Red Sox lineup, warned by MLB

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Pablo Sandoval was back in the Boston Red Sox lineup Friday, a night on the bench turning out to be his only punishment for getting caught on Instagram during a game.

The third baseman also was back at Kauffman Stadium, the scene of one of the most memorable moments of his career.

Red Sox manager John Farrell said the organization considers the Instagram episode over and done with. One of Boston's hotter hitters of late, Sandoval batted sixth in the 7-3 win, going 2-for-4 with a run scored.

"It was addressed internally. It was addressed by MLB," Farrell said before the Red Sox opened a weekend series with the Royals. "And we put it behind us and focus on tonight."

Sandoval was benched for Thursday night's 5-2 victory over Atlanta after admitting he used his cellphone to "like" two photographs of a woman that appeared on his Instagram feed during Wednesday's loss to the Braves. He said Thursday that he willingly accepted responsibility for his mistake and was ready to accept his punishment.

Farrell said MLB "communicated directly" with Sandoval.

"They issued a warning. He acknowledged the use of it, admitted to it, and that's the way they handled it," Farrell said.

So will there be a penalty from MLB?

"Not that I'm aware of," Farrell said.

A major league source confirmed to ESPNBoston.com's Gordon Edes that MLB had sent Sandoval a warning letter and a reminder of the rule prohibiting cellphone use during a game, and that the league considers the matter closed.

Returning Sandoval's bat to the offense could be key for the struggling Red Sox. He had hit safely in eight straight games entering Friday, batting .452 with a league-leading five doubles in that span.

Sandoval met briefly with reporters before Friday's game, having sent word that he preferred not to address the Instagram episode. He did, however, smile broadly when reminded it was here just eight months ago that he caught a foul popup by Kansas City's Salvador Perez for the final out in the seventh game of the World Series. The catch clinched the title for San Francisco and proved a huge disappointment for Perez, Sandoval's friend and fellow Venezuela native.

"It's unbelievable. He's a great guy, a great player. I've known him since he was a little kid," Sandoval said. "We have fun together. That was a tough moment in his career, the last out in the World Series to your best friend. It's kind of weird."

The two will spend plenty of time together this weekend.

"We'll probably have dinner tonight, get together for lunch tomorrow," Sandoval said. "We are great friends. Great, great friends."

Out of the lineup for another game was second baseman Dustin Pedroia, who wrenched his left knee Monday.

"He's been able to hit in the cage today. He didn't experience any soreness," Farrell said. "Pretty much a day of testing. We anticipate him back in the lineup tomorrow."