The Philadelphia Phillies and Boston Red Sox have a lot in common in 2010.

Both teams are fighting for their playoff lives, both teams are missing their star first basemen, and up until yesterday afternoon, both teams were missing their star second basemen.

Both Chase Utley (thumb) and Dustin Pedroia (foot) have been out since late June and both returned to their respective lineups on Tuesday. Both should provide huge lifts to their teams.

Utley was batting .277/.383/.466 with 11 HR in 77 games before injuring his thumb sliding into second in a game against the Cincinnati Reds.

With the Phillies tied for the NL Wild Card lead with the San Francisco Giants going into last night’s game, Utley will be a big addition to the lineup.

Wilson Valdez and his .280 OBP were not cutting the mustard in Utley’s absence.

Pedroia is returning to a Red Sox team that is holding on for dear life in the American League playoff race. With first baseman Kevin Youkilis done for the season, the Red Sox really needed their emotional leader back in the lineup.

When Pedroia went down, he was batting .292/.370/.502 with 12 home runs and eight SBs in 73 games.

Unlike Valdez in Philadelphia, Pedroia’s replacements performed admirably in his absence. Both Bill Hall (15 HRs) and recently Jed Lowrie (.429 OBP) did a nice job in filling in for the “Laser Show.”

As you would expect, both Utley and Pedroia were immediately inserted into their starting lineups as soon as they were activated from the DL.

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