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TEX@CWS: Quintana fans eight, allows two hits in win

After pounding out 10 runs on Wednesday, the Red Sox's lineup figures to get even more potent with second baseman Dustin Pedroia returning on Thursday.

Pedroia, who has been on the 15-day disabled list since July 6 due to a right thumb strain, has been itching to get back into action.

As Pedroia hit balls to all fields during batting practice at Fenway Park on Monday, manager Bobby Valentine saw the type of swing Pedroia displayed in jumping out to a .313 average in his first 19 games.

"He said he was ready about four days ago," Valentine said on Wednesday. "He's such an important part of our team, so much fun to watch play, that for his psyche, as well as ours, I hope he gets back in tomorrow."

Pedroia strained the thumb trying to make a diving play in the field against the A's on July 3. The injury was Pedroia's second to the right thumb, as a torn adductor muscle had previously been causing soreness, hurting his productivity and forcing him to sit out May 29-June 4.

The new injury left Pedroia in a cast, a setback at a time when he finally felt he was starting to drive the ball again.

With Jacoby Ellsbury and Carl Crawford producing at a high level since returning to the lineup within the past week, Pedroia will join a retooled unit looking to make up for the loss of designated hitter David Ortiz, who was placed on the disabled list on Wednesday with a strained right Achilles tendon.

Tasked with slowing down the potent offense will be White Sox starter Jose Quintana, who has been a revelation in his rookie season.

Although he didn't have his best stuff in his last outing, allowing five runs on eight hits in five innings on Friday against the Royals, Quintana is 4-1 with a 2.60 ERA in 11 starts this season.

The 23-year-old from Colombia has never faced the Red Sox, but has some familiarity with their history after rooting for countrymen Orlando Cabrera and Edgar Renteria, who played year-long stints in Boston when Quintana was a teenager.

"I used to watch a lot of their games," Quintana said through an interpreter. "A lot of Colombians are Red Sox fans down there. For me, this is actually exciting to be able to pitch in this park."

Clay Buchholz gets the start for Boston in his second outing since ending a DL stint caused by esophagitis.

The right-hander allowed four runs on three hits and a walk with eight strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings on Saturday against the Rays.

White Sox: Konerko hits milestone
• Paul Konerko played his 2,000th game as a member of the White Sox on Wednesday, the third most in franchise history.

The first baseman recorded a hit and two walks in three plate appearances, driving in Chicago's lone run with a first-inning single.

• The White Sox are 17-for-82 (.207) with runners in scoring position in their last seven games.

• With his next home run, Adam Dunn will pass Jim Edmonds (393) for sole possession of 54th place on the all-time list.

Red Sox: Crawford, Ellsbury shining since returns
• Jacoby Ellsbury and Carl Crawford have both made significant impacts since returning from the disabled list within the past week.

After missing the entire first half with wrist and elbow injuries, Crawford is 5-for-10 with six runs and three stolen bases in three games since making his first start of the season on Monday.

Ellsbury, meanwhile, is hitting .407 (11-for-27) with three doubles, five runs and a steal in six games since returning from a dislocated right shoulder on Friday.

Crawford's name surfaced on Wednesday in a rumored trade involving the Marlins, but general manager Ben Cherington said no offers have been discussed.

• Adrian Gonzalez is hitting .404 (38-for-94) with three home runs and 19 RBIs in his last 23 games. Gonzalez is also 38-for-94 with runners in scoring position this season. His .391 average with RISP entering Wednesday was second in the Majors behind the .395 of Pittsburgh's Andrew McCutchen.

• The Red Sox gave up a run in the first inning on Wednesday for the fourth consecutive game. Boston's pitchers have a 6.65 ERA in the first inning, their worst in any frame.

Worth noting
• The Red Sox are 18-10 against left-handed pitching this season after beating Pedro Hernandez, making his big league debut on Wednesday.

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