Joc Pederson has up-and-down first night back with Isotopes

Joc Pederson, seen here during pregame warmups on Thursday - Eric Stephen | True Blue LA

ALBUQUERQUE -- Joc Pederson's first game back after the All-Star break was a mixed bag on Thursday night. He set a career high with three stolen bases but also accounted for four outs in his final three plate appearances, all with runners in scoring position.

Pederson grounded into a double play with two runners on base in the fourth inning, represented the tying run at the plate in the sixth inning but struck out looking to the end inning, then had the tying and go-ahead runs in scoring position in the eighth with two outs when he was called out on strikes again.

"I don't think it was frustration. Maybe he was trying to do too much, but you have to give their pitches credit," said Isotopes manager Damon Berryhill, who also coaches third base. "If the pitches were where they were, they looked like quality pitches and sometimes you just have to tip your cap to the other club."

The center fielder ended his night 1-for-4 with a walk, two strikeouts and three steals. He was on deck when the game ended.

Pederson was Albuquerque's lone representative in the Triple-A All-Star Game on Wednesday night in Durham, and hit a home run. A long one in fact.

"It felt really good. I was just trying to hit the ball," Pederson said. "I struck out twice already."

Pederson, one of the top two Dodgers hitting prospects and the most major league ready, previously played in the Southern League All-Star Game in Double-A as well as the Futures Game in 2013. He said he wasn't nervous about his Triple-A All-Star experience in Durham on Wednesday.

"It's more excitement, I guess you could say. I wouldn't say nervous, just excited to get to play with the best players in the league. Everyone is having a good time, so it takes some of the nerves away," Pederson said. "It was a good experience. Any All-Star Game you go to is a special time. You strive to do that every year. It was an honor to represent the Isotopes and the Dodgers."

Peterson missed two weeks with a mild shoulder separation but since his return is 8-for-21 with two doubles, a triple and seven walks in six games, hitting .381/.536/.571 during that span.

"I expect similar to what we had in the first half," Berryhill said of Pederson before the game. "He had a tough stretch there and got hurt, but was fortunate to come back and got four games in before the All-Star Game, and his swing came around a little bit."

"It's feeling really good," Pederson said. "I'm still doing treatment before and after the games. I'm going to continue that process, and hopefully I can stay on track."

Pederson singled in the first inning, then stole second and third base against pitcher Drew Pomeranz and catcher Luis Exposito. After a walk in the third inning, Pederson stole second base, then scored on a three-run home run by Tim Federowicz. The three stolen bases by Pederson tied his career high, set previously on July 17, 2011 with the rookie-level Ogden Raptors.

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