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Dustin Pedroia appears to sustain injury in second base collision

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Red Sox’ second baseman Dustin Pedroia limped off the field following a collision during the eighth inning of Friday’s 2-0 loss to the Orioles. He appeared to sustain some kind of leg injury after Baltimore’s Manny Machado made a late slide into second base and spiked Pedroia’s left calf with his cleats. While the Red Sox have yet to disclose any details about Pedroia’s condition, manager John Farrell told reporters that the infielder experienced some soreness following the play and was concerned that it might have re-injured his surgically repaired knee.

Both managers took issue with the play. Baltimore skipper Buck Showalter issued a challenge, arguing that Pedroia had stepped off the base, while Farrell believed that Machado had violated league rules by effectively preventing Pedroia from beginning to turn the double play. The tag was confirmed after review, although no double play was retroactively awarded to the Red Sox, nor was Machado ejected for an illegal slide.

There is, of course, a rule that prohibits takeout slides and is designed to avoid situations like this. It’s a four-pronged rule that requires runners to begin their slides before reaching the base, to stay in the vicinity of the base, to attempt to remain on the base after completing the slide, and to slide without going out of their way to intentionally make contact with the infielder. Machado failed to tick all four boxes on that checklist, and though the Providence Journal’s Brian MacPherson points out that the play looked more reckless than malicious, the ire it drew from Farrell and, later, third base coach Brian Butterfield was not without warrant.

Pedroia, for his part, did not appear upset with Machado’s tactics, whether intentional or not. Per MLB.com’s Jeff Seidel:

I don’t even know what the rule is,” he said. “I’ve turned the best double play in the major leagues for 11 years. I don’t need the (expletive) rule, let’s be honest. The rule is irrelevant. The rule is for people with bad footwork, and that’s it.

The Orioles are set for the second game of the series on Saturday at 7:05 PM EDT, when left-hander Jayson Aquino takes the mound against Boston knuckleballer Steven Wright. Needless to say, it’s shaping up to be a tense series.

Phillies sign Trevor Plouffe to minor league deal

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Infielder Trevor Plouffe has signed a minor league deal with the Phillies, Gerry Fraley of the Dallas Morning News reports. Plouffe asked for and was granted his release from the Rangers earlier this month.

Plouffe, 31, had a double and a home run in 17 plate appearances with Triple-A Round Rock to start the 2018 season. He spent last year with the Athletics and Rays, putting up a meager .198/.272/.318 batting line in 100 games.

Plouffe has mostly played third base throughout his career, but can also handle the other three infield spots and both outfield corners, so he’ll serve as organizational depth at Triple-A Lehigh Valley for the Phillies.