BOSTON -- Dustin Pedroia is nearing a second start to his 2019 season.
The second baseman is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment with Double-A Portland this week. Pedroia has been on the injured list since April 19 due to left knee irritation, the latest in a string of setbacks involving the surgically-repaired joint.
Pedroia lasted just one inning in the field and a lone at-bat in his second game at Yankee Stadium, removed after feeling what he described as a pop in the knee. He was serving as the designated hitter against New York, just the 13th time in his career where Pedroia has been in the Red Sox lineup without playing the field.
"He hasn't played in a while," Red Sox manager Alex Cora said. "He needs at-bats. He needs to play. We'll go over the program and see where we're at."
Pedroia managed just three games last season while Boston captured its fourth championship this century. He was 2-for-20 with a pair of singles in six games before approaching Cora and asking to be removed from the 5-3 loss to New York.
"He's been going through this for the last year," Cora said. "We'll keep getting information. New spikes, a new brace -- there's a lot of effort into this. He'll get out there and we'll see how it goes."
There is no set number of games Pedroia will have to complete before making a return to the Red Sox roster. The decision to eventually activate him involves input from both Pedroia and club medical staff. Pedroia is likely never to be what doctors would consider 100 percent against after undergoing a cartilage restoration procedure in October 2017.
"I know sometimes it feels like we're cutting it short, but that's the way it goes," Cora said. "We do our best to let him know how we feel about it and what we'd like to do."
Michael Chavis made his sixth start at second base on Sunday against the Rays. The top position player prospect in Boston's system slashed .200/.407/.550 through his first seven games, including two home runs and a double.
Martinez out again
J.D. Martinez (back tightness) was out of the lineup for the second straight day on Sunday.
Martinez had appeared in each of the first 26 games of the season for the Red Sox, hitting safely in 24 of them. He was a late scratch prior to Saturday's 2-1 loss to the Rays and received treatment throughout the afternoon.
"He's still tight," Cora said. "We'll try to stay away from him today. If we need him later on it depends on how he progresses during the day."
Boston managed just five hits, went 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position and stranded 11 men against Tampa Bay on Saturday. Steve Pearce went 0-for-3 with a walk replacing Martinez in the designated hitter spot.