TORONTO -- Even when it seemed he was falling off of Major League Baseball's radar screen, veteran outfielder Scott Podsednik continued to believe he would get another chance. His persistence is currently paying off in gratifying fashion.
The 36-year-old outfielder, who led off for the Red Sox for the second straight night, entered Friday's contest in Toronto with a .444 average. In his first five starts, he was 8-for-16.
Before his callup to the Red Sox on May 22, Podsednik hadn't tasted the Major Leagues since 2010.
Podsednik had been playing for the Phillies' Triple-A affiliate in Lehigh Valley until the Red Sox acquired him for cash considerations on May 11 and sent him to Triple-A Pawtucket.
Injury-ravaged in the outfield, the Red Sox had a need for Podsednik, and he's filled it nicely.
"I was feeling good down in Pawtucket before I got here," said Podsednik. "I got my path and my timing to where I wanted. Now it's just a matter of continually going out and staying with my game plan, staying with my approach, and trying to execute good swings when I get pitches I can handle."
Manager Bobby Valentine is pleased by what Podsednik has provided for the Red Sox.
"It's been great," Valentine said. "Very professional. He has a little stronger swing than I remembered. It looks like he's seeing the ball pretty well."
While Podsednik helped create his latest opportunity, he realizes there were no guarantees.
"You try to stay positive in hoping that you're going to get an opportunity to play, but then you go out and you want to try to create an opportunity for yourself," Podsednik said. "You want to go out and play your game and try to open some eyes -- whether that be with these guys or for someone else.
"You're just hoping you get that break. That has a lot to do with it -- being in the right place at the right time. I'm fortunate to have gotten this opportunity to come in and play."
Ross declares himself nearly ready to return
TORONTO -- Red Sox outfielder Cody Ross conveyed to manager Bobby Valentine that he could return to the active roster fairly soon.
Ross has been on the disabled list since May 19 with a fracture of the navicular bone in his left foot. Sunday is the first day he is eligible to be activated, but the earliest he would likely return is sometime during the homestand that starts next week.
Boston's medical staff will probably examine Ross when the team returns from this short road trip in Toronto.
"Boy, he told me yesterday he feels ready," Valentine said. "He told me there wasn't going to be another MRI. ... He says it might just be a physical exam that will give him the green light."
Friday marked the fourth straight game the Red Sox played without Dustin Pedroia. The second baseman has been sidelined with a torn adductor muscle in his right thumb.
Pedroia is hoping to play when the Red Sox open their homestand on Tuesday night against the Orioles.
"He might take ground balls today -- that was the plan yesterday," Valentine said. "I'm trying not to get too close to him. Just want to let nature take its time."