2B Pedroia returns from bad knee, rejoins Red Sox on Friday

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Pedroia and Mookie Betts have a long way to go to catch Jim Rice and Dwight Evans, but with Pedroia back in the lineup - and signed through the 2021 season - they have some time to make inroads on the Sox' all-time leaders in homering in the same game.

Manager Alex Cora had Pedroia batting sixth, saying: "I don't want to break up the top two". We wished him nothing but the best.

Ramirez tweeted Friday afternoon: "Thank you Red Sox Nation". He hit.163 with three homers and 12 RBIs in May after starting the season with a.330 average, three homers and 17 RBIs.

"I was a little surprised", Pedroia said.

Ramirez, 34, has hit.254 (45-for-177) with six home runs, 29 RBI, and a.708 OPS in 44 games this season, making 25 starts at first base and 19 at designated hitter.

Ramirez's contract was for four years and $88 million plus the $22 million vesting option for 2019 (if Ramirez had 1,050 plate appearances over the 2017 and 2018 seasons).

Dumping Ramirez puts a wrap on two of the worst contracts in Red Sox history - or anybody's history. He told WEEI.com's Rob Bradford that he expected to be "getting a phone call or be called into the office" to talk about his time in Boston being over when the Red Sox returned from their road trip early Friday morning.

"He's been OK" at first base, said Dombrowski, but "he's not been Mitch Moreland, as far as that is concerned". And that's not the ideal role for Hanley Ramirez. First and foremost, Ramirez hadn't been doing badly this season. He was undoubtedly the Red Sox best hitter in the series despite a shoulder that needed surgery. I was like, 'That worked.' For him to come in to come in and catch a knuckleballer after not catching since Fort Myers or whenever the last time he caught, that caught my eye. After that, Ramirez will be free to seek a new team. I'm excited about it. Dombrowski said the move was less about saving on Ramirez's salary next year than it was about improving this year's team. "He needs his at-bats". "Love you always", Ramirez tweeted.

Releasing Ramirez at that time made more sense. His agent asked them to trade him last week, and according to NBC Sports Boston, the Red Sox tried but were asking too much in return and couldn't find a partner. And if he does end up playing for another team, that team wouldn't have to pay any part of that $15 million - they would only owe Hanley the league minimum, $545,000.