All-Star second basemen Dustin Pedroia and Chase Utley began rehab assignments Saturday that they hope will help them return to the Major Leagues early next week.
Playing for Triple-A Pawtucket, Pedroia singled, walked and scored a run in his first game action since suffering a broken left foot on June 25.
"It felt good," he told MLB.com. "It's been a while since I played. Later in the game, I was a little tired, but overall I felt fine. It's the most I've done since I got hurt, so I'm pretty excited about it."
The former American League MVP played all nine innings at second base. After grounding out to short in his first at-bat, he hit a shot back to the mound that could not be handled by Buffalo starter Michael Antonini. After Carlos Delgado was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded and Lars Anderson reached on an infield hit to produce another run, Pedroia scored on Yamaico Navarro's sacrifice fly.
Pedroia flied out in the fifth, then walked in the seventh.
"That last at-bat was good for me," he said. "I saw a lot of pitches. Then I laid off a 3-2 changeup. I feel like I'm getting ready.
"Everything's on schedule. I'll DH tomorrow and have a day off. Then I'll play [for the Red Sox] on Tuesday."
Sidelined since June 28 with a torn ligament in his right thumb, Utley tripled and struck out in three plate appearances for Class A Advanced Clearwater. He also handled two chances at second base before leaving for a defensive replacement in the sixth.
While Pedroia is only spending the weekend in the Minor Leagues, the plan calls for Utley to play seven innings on Sunday and appear in both ends of Monday's doubleheader, playing nine innings in the field in the opener and serving as DH in the nightcap.
The Phillies did not expect the five-time All-Star to return until late this month or early September. But Utley plans to be in the lineup Tuesday when Philadelphia hosts San Francisco.
"Nothing is a surprise in regards to his ability to recuperate and get back," Phillies assistant general manager Scott Proefrock told MLB.com. "He wants to play, he wants to help the team. I know it's been killing him not to play. He's like a caged animal. Obviously, we want him back. But we want him back healthy so he's able to help us the rest of the season. We don't want this to be something that lingers beyond this season."
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.