BOSTON -- The Red Sox played without second baseman Dustin Pedroia on Thursday night against the Yankees, but for good reason.
Pedroia's wife, Kelly, delivered the couple's second son.
When Kelly Pedroia went into labor on Wednesday, Pedroia left Fenway Park after the sixth inning.
Prior to Thursday's game, Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine wasn't sure if Pedroia would fly with the team to Toronto for a three-game weekend series.
"The only thing I can tell you about Dustin is that we've heard that everybody is doing fine, and that's really good news," Valentine said.
In past generations, it wasn't accepted for players to leave their team for the birth of a child. But it has now become commonplace, something Valentine appreciates.
"It's a change, and I think the family is the No. 1 importance in everyone's life," Valentine said.
Pedroia has been on fire for the Red Sox since Aug. 5, batting .381. In that span, he's raised his average from .262 to .295.
Lackey targets instructional league action
BOSTON -- The progression toward competition continued for Red Sox right-hander John Lackey on Thursday, as he threw batting practice to teammates for the second time.
Lackey, who underwent Tommy John ligament transfer surgery last October, won't pitch for the Red Sox before this season ends, but he is on track to pitch a couple of innings of instructional league action in Florida.
"Lackey threw 25 pitches of live BP today, felt even better than he did last time, and looked better than he did last time," said Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine. "No chance of him pitching here, but he's looking forward to pitching a couple of innings in Florida."
The trip to the instructional league will probably offer more of a mental hurdle for Lackey than a physical one, and give him some added momentum going into the offseason.
"It's been a goal of his," Valentine said. "You always want to be able to reach your goals. He looks good, he feels good. To check that off, I think, would be a good thing for him to do. He's been right on schedule. He's made every bullpen session, he's made every weight session."
Ross doesn't expect to be suspended for arguing
BOSTON -- As irate as Cody Ross became while being ejected from Wednesday's game, he never made contact with home-plate umpire Alfonso Marquez. Therefore, he doesn't anticipate a suspension.
"Why would I be suspended?" wondered Ross, while otherwise avoiding comment.
Manager Bobby Valentine is hopeful that his outfielder won't lose any games for arguing a pitch that, according to television replays, clearly looked low. Ross represented the tying run in the bottom of the eighth when he was rung up on a 3-2 pitch.
"Well, I don't know how the system works," said Valentine. "I would guess that I wouldn't have any concerns after I know how the system works. It used to be, you'd have to touch someone or say something really bad. It seemed like a guy who was into the moment got excited. That used to be acceptable, but I don't know how the system is working these days."
Valentine says there will be no fine for Aceves
BOSTON -- In a perfect world, a manager walks out to the mound and gives a pitcher a pat on the back before taking him out of the game. Alfredo Aceves never really gave him that choice on Wednesday.
When Valentine got to the mound, Aceves basically walked to the opposite side of the mound. When he walked to the dugout, he made a roundabout route, taking a wide left and avoiding any type of interaction with his manager.
The incident raised eyebrows, considering Aceves received a three-game suspension on Aug. 25 for an outburst in Valentine's office when he was bypassed in a closing situation.
However, Valentine seemed unmoved by Aceves' actions on Wednesday. He said there would be no suspension or fine.
"No, I'm not fining anyone," Valentine said.
Though Aceves hasn't been closing of late, Valentine was asked if he might even see more of a reduced role down the stretch.
"We have a lot of pitchers. When we need him, he'll still pitch," Valentine said.
Though there have been some behavioral concerns with Aceves, Valentine thinks he's still a viable player for the Red Sox going forward.
"I think I knew what I was dealing with from Spring Training," Valentine said. "You just try to manage every situation that you have to try to manage to the best for the organization. He's a good pitcher."
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.