MLB notes: Pedroia injury another blow to Red Sox

Red Sox batter Dustin Pedroia reacts after grounding out to against the Braves at Fenway Park in...

Red Sox batter Dustin Pedroia reacts after grounding out to against the Braves at Fenway Park in Boston, Mass., June 22, 2012. (BRIAN SNYDER/Reuters)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:09 PM ET

Dustin Pedroia, who has been struggling for more than a month with an injured right thumb, was placed on the disabled list Friday by the Boston Red Sox.

Manager Bobby Valentine told reporters Pedroia's right thumb is now sprained. Earlier this season, he was diagnosed as having a partially torn adductor muscle in the thumb.

The second baseman has been hitting only .210 -- well off his career average of .301 -- with one home run since June 5. The Red Sox disabled list seems as star-studded as the regular lineup with Pedroia, 28, joining sidelined teammates Jacoby Ellsbury, Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett and Clay Buchholz.

Pedroia's thumb was examined Thursday in Boston before it was determined he should take a couple of weeks off.

Pedro Ciriaco, a 26-year-old shortstop, has been recalled from triple-A Pawtucket.

PHILS CALL UP HOWARD

The Philadelphia Phillies activated slugger Ryan Howard from the disabled list Friday afternoon after he was evaluated following a minor-league rehab stint.

Howard, recovering from surgery on his left Achilles tendon, played nine innings at first base Thursday night for triple-A Lehigh Valley. In seven rehab games with single-A Lakewood and Lehigh Valley, he hit a combined .500 (10-for-20) with two doubles, one home run and 10 RBI.

Howard, 32, has hit 286 homers in 1,027 games for the Phillies over eight seasons.

RACIAL SLUR ALLEGED

Boston Red Sox outfielder Carl Crawford said he was the target of a racial slur from a fan during a minor-league rehab game Thursday night in Manchester, N.H.

The left fielder said the fan was used the slur while criticizing Crawford's $142-million contract.

"He actually called me a racial slur to begin the game," said Crawford, who is on assignment with double-A Portland.

"He was the only one I had a problem with. People in Boston don't even do that."

Crawford, who is African-American, signed a seven-year deal with the Red Sox before last season. He hit .255 in 2011 and has yet to play this season because of surgery his left wrist, following by a ligament injury in his left elbow.

"I can understand why people can be upset about me signing a contract and me having the kind of year I had," Crawford said. "I understand, you know? They love their team. They want you to produce when you sign a contract like that. I can't be mad at them. All I can do is get ready to play this year and try to produce."

Curiously, a man claiming to be the alleged heckler called a Boston radio station and denied he used a racial slur.

DRIVEN TO DRINK?

Luke Scott's hitless streak reached 0-for-39 Thursday night and the Rays designated hitter admitted to the Tampa Bay Times that it was causing him sleepless nights.

It's something that really weighs heavily on my heart every single day," Scott said. I ask the good Lord to help me, to help me come through this.

"Does it weigh heavy on my heart? Oh my gosh. I'd say if I wasn't a Christian man, I'd be an alcoholic or something -- this is something that would have driven me to drink.''

TALK IT OVER WITH BUD

Commissioner Bud Selig plans to address baseball fans around the world in a live Internet chat Monday, a day before the all-star game at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City.

Selig will answer about 20 questions in front of an audience, beginning at 12:30 p.m. ET. Fans can submit questions now via e-mail at allstarchat@website.mlb.com.

BRIEFLY

A ball that Hank Gehrig hit for a home run in the 1928 World Series is being sold to pay for a Connecticut man's medical school debt. The ball will be auctioned Tuesday during all-star festivities in Kansas City and could fetch as much as $200,000 ... The St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina has been placed on the bereavement list. Molina, who is hitting .304 with 13 home runs and 45 RBI, will miss the all-star game Tuesday. He was replaced on the NL roster by teammate and outfielder Matt Holliday.


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