Steve Pearce looks like major leaguer at minor-league Lowell

Amin Touri
June 14, 2019 - 10:50 pm

LOWELL — In his first rehab start since being placed on the 10-day injured list on June 1, Red Sox first baseman Steve Pearce went 1-for-3 for the Lowell Spinners on Friday night in a positive outing on the comeback trail.

The 2018 World Series MVP has been out for two weeks with a lower back strain but said he felt great in his first real action since May 31, batting third as the designated hitter.

“Not bad, not bad,” Pearce said. “A lot better than I thought I was going to be, and I hope to continue rolling and have another game tomorrow, and just get the at-bats, see pitches and try to get more comfortable.

“It felt great, felt like I was swinging the bat well, we’re just going to keep playing it day-by-day, but I like how I’m progressing.”

The veteran first baseman was patient early, working the count full in his first two at-bats. After going down swinging in his first trip, he took advantage of a grooved fastball and ripped a leadoff double to left center in the bottom of the third.

Pearce was moving well when he had to run, showing no signs of the back problem that’s kept him out of commission, both on the basepaths and during pregame warmups.

A sacrifice fly in the fourth gave him his only RBI of the day, and he nearly capped off his night in style, but the wind knocked down a deep fly ball to left and a potential homer was just a warning-track flyout to end Pearce’s night.

All in all, Pearce looked solid in his return and enjoyed himself in the process.

“It’s always fun to do a throwback to where it all started and where your roots are,” he said. “It’s nice to hang out with the younger guys and they get to pick your brain and you get to give them the info, and just get back to where it started.”

Pearce didn’t have much time to have his brain picked on Friday, as afternoon traffic up to Lowell meant a late arrival, though he plans to devote more time to mentoring before his second rehab start on Saturday.

“Whatever they need,” Pearce said. “You’ll have some funky questions sometimes, that’s why it’s always fun to be around the young guys. They want to get to where I’m at, and I’m glad to give them the advice.”

Pearce didn’t take the field Friday but expects to play five innings in the field on Saturday. He also expects to be in Pawtucket next week, once this stint in Lowell is over.