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It’s all about Pedro Ciriaco as Red Sox nip Yankees

Jul 30, 2012, 12:25 AM EDT

Pedro Ciriaco Reuters

Where has Pedro Ciriaco been all season?

The answer, unfortunately for the Red Sox, is buried behind Nick Punto. But Ciriaco, given a chance to shine because of Dustin Pedroia‘s thumb injury, came through again Sunday, making another outstanding defensive play at shortstop and singling in the go-ahead run in the 10th in a 3-2 win over the Yankees.

Here’s the video of the grab and the video of the hit.

Ciriaco is hitting .349 and is 6-for-6 stealing bases in 18 games for the Red Sox after being called up earlier this month. He really should have made the team out of spring training, but the Red Sox wanted to carry five outfielders instead of two utilitymen.

That the Red Sox have Ciriaco is actually a result of last summer’s deal to send infielder Yamaico Navarro to Kansas City for Mike Aviles, Boston’s current starting shortstop. The Royals quickly soured on Navarro, sending him to Pittsburgh in a minor trade after the season. That made Ciriaco expendable after two years in the organization, and after he was bumped from the 40-man and became a free agent, the Red Sox signed him to a minor league contract.

It’s doubtful Ciriaco has a future as a regular in Boston — his fast offensive start is a fluke — but his speed and defense could keep him in the league as a reserve for several years. He’d seem to stand a better chance of being around next year than Punto, even if Punto did get a two-year deal to sign last winter.

  1. dimiandmac1 - Jul 30, 2012 at 12:41 AM

    Will this finally be the series the sox get their heads out of their asses?

  2. randygnyc - Jul 30, 2012 at 12:53 AM

    As a Yankee fan, I can’t help but feel the sky is falling.

    • proudlycanadian - Jul 30, 2012 at 8:41 AM

      For a Yankee fan, you have a unique sense of humor.

  3. pisano - Jul 30, 2012 at 1:14 AM

    The Sox should revel in this series win, because it’s going to be the high of their season.

    • aceshigh11 - Jul 30, 2012 at 1:27 AM

      Now, now…no reason to be bitter.

      That’s for us Sox fans. 😉

      • deathmonkey41 - Jul 30, 2012 at 8:14 AM

        Don’t kid yourself. This was a chance for the Yanks to put the nail in the Red Sox’s coffin and they failed. This could be the type of series that turns the season around for the Red Sox. Yankees need to do a better job of hitting as the game situation dictates and not trying to pull the ball out of the stadium on every swing. Also, C.C. Sabbathia coming up very small in a big situation once again. He’s one of the best pitchers in baseball…except when the games really mean something.

      • teaspoon1731 - Jul 30, 2012 at 8:29 AM

        The Sox seem quite happy with being a 0.500 ball club this season. Every time they start to turn things around, their bats fall silent and their pitchers start serving up homers. I wouldn’t worry about putting a nail in their coffin, they’ll do it on their own.

        Now if the Yankees fans, whose team maintains the best record in the AL, could please quit crying about two loses like it’s the end of the world.

      • teaspoon1731 - Jul 30, 2012 at 8:30 AM

        Oh, and the Sox usually hit C.C. pretty well. And by usually, I mean I do a little dance every time I see he’s starting.

      • deathmonkey41 - Jul 30, 2012 at 8:50 AM

        First off, I’m not crying- just saying the type of baseball they play will win them a lot of games in the regular season- it just won’t cut it in the playoffs. What does it matter if they finish with the most wins in baseball and are knocked out in the first round? Secondly, the Red Sox are not the only team Sabbathia struggles against. In all these big primetime or big game match ups- playoffs included- he has come up small.

  4. codysteeler - Jul 30, 2012 at 2:20 AM

    Fluke? I’d like to see you, Matt Pouliot, go hit .350 so i can write a terribly written article of how it is a “fluke”

    P.S- he’s also batting .500 against the best team in baseball…the yanks! When you do that, please let me know Mr. Pouliot so i may consider you a fluke of all trades

    • cur68 - Jul 30, 2012 at 7:42 AM

      Hi Mrs. Ciriaco. Your son played well. Don’t take a little stats driven criticism so hard. In dozen more games, if he keeps this up, you’ll see a nice “I was so wrong” type piece about your boy I bet. Be cool.

  5. Glenn - Jul 30, 2012 at 2:27 AM

    The Yanks could have buried us here and they did not. Maybe the tide is finally turning but it will take some more wins to tell.

  6. seeingwhatsticks - Jul 30, 2012 at 3:53 AM

    I’m trying to figure out why this game deserves a post at all. Is it just because the Yankees lost to a last place team?

    • teaspoon1731 - Jul 30, 2012 at 6:59 AM

      I’m pretty sure the post is about the no name kid who lifted the Sox past the Yankees after they blew a lead for the second night in a row. That’s what I gleaned with my reading skills anyway.

      As for Ciriaco, I hate to agree with Bobby Valentine, but he does seem to be someone to be excited about.

  7. taxed00 - Jul 30, 2012 at 9:30 AM

    Ciriaco is the perfect player for a manger like Bobby V. Can play multiple positions, can bunt, can steal 2nd & 3rd, plays above average defense, and evidently he thrives in clutch situations too.

    In a perfect world Pedro would have earned the right to be the bench player for this team when Ortiz comes back off the DL, although I fear that he’ll be optioned back to Pawtucket. I can’t really see the logic in keeping Punto on the roster when all he’s providing is ‘clubhouse presence’.

    • deathmonkey41 - Jul 30, 2012 at 9:34 AM

      Valentine needs more Punto.

    • teaspoon1731 - Jul 30, 2012 at 4:09 PM

      But Punto is Valentine’s guy when he needs a hit in a tight game in the 9th inning!

      All season this has bugged me. I’m sorry, but I feel zero confidence when my team desperately needs a hit and I see Nick frickin Punto emerging from the dugout.

      • taxed00 - Jul 31, 2012 at 12:49 AM

        I feel the same way. He generally gets called up in bunt situations and Bobby V has publicly admitted it. He’s a pinch-bunter. Complete misuse of that 25th roster spot.

  8. number42is1 - Jul 30, 2012 at 9:59 AM

    I stopped watching in the 7th last night… why did Bobby V and Beckett get ejected?

    • teaspoon1731 - Jul 30, 2012 at 4:16 PM

      Middlebrooks got hit by a pitch that then hit the homeplate umpire, knocking him to the ground. The umpire said that he offered at it, thus it was a strike. Valentine argued that the umpire couldn’t have seen clearly, as he too was taken down by the ball. He was ejected. Beckett then continued to argue from the dugout and was also ejected.

  9. muir6 - Jul 30, 2012 at 11:04 AM

    They gained a game watch out

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