BOSTON (AP) Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia is back in the lineup for Tuesday's game against AL East-leading Toronto after missing seven weeks with a strained right hamstring.
The 32-year-old Pedroia was activated from the 15-day disabled list before the game after missing 57 games. It was his second time sidelined by the same injury - he also missed 16 games from late June to mid-July.
''Obviously, I've still got to do the strengthening stuff and make sure everything is fine,'' he said. ''I went through all the running progressions and all the strengthening stuff, and now I've just got to focus on playing.''
Pedroia had hoped to get a rehab game or two in, but with the minor league regular seasons ending, he ran out of time.
''I had to go through strengthening stuff and right at the end it wasn't timed for me to go to a minor league game,'' he said. ''Obviously, we've got to be smart and see if I'm responding well after games, but I'm excited to be out there with the guys.''
The player that manager John Farrell called the ''heart and soul of our team'' is excited to play with some young players that have sparked the team's play lately.
Boston enters Tuesday's game having won four straight and eight of 11.
''It's been fun to watch, exciting, just the style of play the guys are playing,'' he said. ''It'll be fun to get out there with them.''
The 2008 AL MVP is batting .287 with nine homers and 34 RBIs.
Pedroia is batting second in the order.
Farrell is on medical leave for the rest of the season to battle Stage 1 lymphoma.
In other moves, the Red Sox recalled right-handers Jonathan Aro and Matt Barnes from Triple-A Pawtucket. Left-hander Rich Hill was selected from the PawSox.