Dustin Pedroia making progress from concussion, expected to return Friday

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Dustin Pedroia suffered a concussion last Saturday when he took a forearm to the head in a collision with Rays infielder Logan Forsythe at second base, but Sean McAdam of CSNNE.com reports that he’s expected to return tomorrow.

Pedroia dealt with dizziness and sleep problems initially and “didn’t feel quite right” when he tried to ramp up activities on Tuesday, but he was able to make it through his usual pre-game routine this afternoon at Yankee Stadium, including a full round of batting practice. He still has some hurdles to cross, but all signs point toward him being in the lineup for the start of a series against the Blue Jays in Fenway Park.

“We’ve got to get him one final medical exam tomorrow,” said John Farrell, “but at this point, things are looking like he’ll be on the field and in the lineup tomorrow.”

Pedroia, 31, is batting .280/.340/.379 with seven home runs and 51 RBI over 131 games this season. He’s still making contact as much as ever before, but he has struggled to rediscover his power since his thumb injury last year.

Alex Dickerson to miss 2017 season after undergoing back surgery

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Padres’ outfielder Alex Dickerson won’t see PETCO Park anytime soon — at least, not as its starting left fielder. The 27-year-old was diagnosed with a bulging disc in his lower back prior to the start of the 2017 season, and hasn’t made any kind of substantial progress in the months since. According to Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune, he suffered a setback in his recovery process last week and is set to undergo a season-ending discectomy next Wednesday.

Over 285 plate appearances, Dickerson batted .257/.333/.455 with 10 home runs and a .788 OPS for the Padres in 2016. He missed several days with a right hip contusion last July, but hasn’t experienced any substantial health problems since undergoing surgery in 2014 to repair a torn ligament in his left ankle.

The expected recovery period for lower back surgery is 3-4 months, according to Lin, which puts Dickerson’s estimated return just a few days before the end of the regular season. The Padres aren’t scraping the bottom of the NL West, but their 29-44 record doesn’t bode well for a postseason run this year. Assuming Dickerson rehabs his back in a timely manner, he should be in fine form to enter the competition for left field next spring.

Video: Hanley Ramirez’s No. 250 career home run barely left the field

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Hanley Ramirez played a pivotal role during the Red Sox’ 9-4 win over the Angels on Friday night, crushing a two-run homer off of Alex Meyer to bring the Sox up to a four-run lead in the fourth inning.

Well, crushed might be the wrong word. The ball cleared the right field fence with a mere 350 feet, landing just beyond Pesky’s Pole to bring Ramirez’s career home run total to an even 250.

According to the ESPN Home Run Tracker, Ramirez’s milestone blast wasn’t the shortest home run of the year — not by a long shot. That distinction currently belongs to Rays’ outfielder Corey Dickerson, who skimmed the left field fence at Rogers Centre with a 326-foot homer back in April.