Boston Red Sox

Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia took his first steps towards a return to action Monday night, going 1-for-3 with a single and a run scored in a five-inning rehab appearance for Triple-A Pawtucket.

“I’m pretty happy about it. First game in a long time, everything went great,” Pedroia, who underwent ‘microfracture and cartilage restoration procedures’ in his left knee this offseason, told The Boston Globe. “I felt good up there. I hit three balls on the barrel. I felt good about that. Obviously I’ve got to get some more at-bats to lock in, but everything went great.”

According to the 34-year-old Pedroia, his minor-league rehab assignment will continue with a seven-inning appearance Tuesday night in Pawtucket followed by two days off before playing in three straight games this weekend. For Pedroia, this Rhode Island stop seems like the final leg of what’s been a seven-week process including extended trips in Fort Myers, and with the steps and progression being where it needs to be for No. 15 to make an impactful return to the bigs.

“I can definitely drive the ball, rotate, and put something behind it. That’s why I’m excited about getting some at-bats,” said Pedroia. “Having a real, real game, getting in the flow of a game is definitely — it’s pretty important, and it’s the last step.”

Pedroia also remains confident that he’ll return to the Red Sox and be the player the team needs him to be.

“You’re going to see the same guy you’ve seen for however many years I’ve played,” Pedroia said.

Without Pedroia at their disposal this season, utility infielder Eduardo Nunez has received the bulk of starts at second (32, to be exact), and has hit .239 with three homers and 10 RBIs. Brock Holt and Tzu-Wei Lin have also seen time at second.