Sunday June 27, 2010 | 07:18 AM

With a broken foot, Dustin Pedroia may be out for six weeks. Of all the injured players in Boston (Josh Beckett, Jacoby Ellsbury), Pedroia is the most difficult to replace, by far.

To provide depth, the Red Sox traded for infielder/outfielder Eric Patterson, 27, who was hitting .204 for Oakland.

I know I may not be objective, but the Red Sox already had a solid defensive second baseman in the system, with Portland's Nate Spears, who is hitting . 263 with a .402 on-base percentage. Spears played Triple-A all last year.

To get Patterson, Boston gave up 21-year-old lefty Fabian Williamson (4-3, 3.72 in Salem), who was originally obtained last year in the David Aardsma deal with with Seattle.

Clay Buchholz was out of Saturday's game after one inning with a hyper-extended knee (yes, it looked worse when it happened). With two days off next week, it is hoped Buchholz won't miss a start ... The Boston bullpen, which has been an adventure recently, came through Saturday with 8 innings of work (two runs) in the 4-2 win.

Boston (45-31) is back to two games behind the Yankees. New York took a 3-0 lead in the top of the first against the Dodgers. But A.J. Burnett (6-7) gave it up, going three innings (6 H, 6 R, 6 BB).

In Triple-A, red-hot outfielder Bubba Bell was hit by a pitch in the top of the first inning and then came out of the game in the second. No word yet on the extent of Bell's injury.

The Sea Dogs stopped a five-game losing streak but starter Casey Kelly continues to scuffle: 5 IP, 6 H, 5 R [4 ER] 0 BB, 6 K. Kelly has a 5.05 ERA. On the bright side, Kelly is only 20 (yes, we have to throw that age thing in every once in a while). He's throwing strikes and not getting knocked out early.

Portland's offense had several leaders Saturday: three hits by Che-Hsuan Lin (.261) and Spears (.263), and two apiece from Ray Chang (.306), Luis Exposito (.257) and Anthony Rizzo (.252).

Salem starter Stolmy Pimentel, recently named to the International Team for the Futures All-Star Game, got roughed up Saturday (2 1/3 IP, 10 H, 9 R [8 ER] 0 BB, 3 K.

Down in Lowell, there are plenty of prospects who could be seeing Hadlock Field in the future. See today's column in the Maine Sunday Telegram.

About this Blog

Kevin Thomas covers baseball and basketball for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram. He wisely moved to Maine in 1994 after working for the St. Petersburg Times. He is married to Nancy and they have nine children.

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