Say this for Dustin Pedroia: The man stays in character even on a night an uncharacteristic bobble by the Red Sox second baseman figured prominently in Boston's 7-3 loss to the Detroit Tigers in Game 4 of the American League Championship Series on Wednesday night.

That became abundantly clear when Pedroia who'd already shouldered the responsibility for his failure to turn an inning-ending double play on Jose Iglesias' smash during the Tigers' five-run second inning was asked about Iglesias' hard takeout slide in the sixth inning.

"The guy bounced off of me'' a suddenly feisty Pedroia said an incredulous look on his face. "That shows I'm stronger than he is.''
Pedroia might have stumbled but losing pitcher Jake Peavy refused to let him take the fall for Wednesday's loss. Not on a night in which the Red Sox pitcher lamented his own failure to deliver the kind of return he'd given the Sox in the division series when he'd held the Tampa Bay Rays to one run in 5 2/3 innings and for which they had hoped for when they parted with Iglesias in a trade-deadline deal.

"Obviously he can say that all he wants to'' Peavy said "but there's no one I'd rather have the ball hit to. You can put me out there with just Dustin Pedroia behind me as the lone defender and we'll go to war.

"Obviously the ball was hit hard it was a tough play. If we do the double play we're out of the inning. We all understand that. There's absolutely nothing on him. I was the reason we were in that. And I had a chance obviously after that to pick him up and just didn't make a good enough pitch to get us out of the inning.

"Dustin's our leader. We're going to be together we're going to have each other's backs for sure. But this is on me and what I wasn't able to execute tonight.''