After a tough 10-8 loss on Friday night followed closely by a 6-1 whooping Saturday afternoon at the hands of the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox fans were not overly optimistic of the team's chances heading into Game 2 of the day/night doubleheader.
On Friday, the Yankees put five runs up in the first inning against the Sox, to which Boston answered with five runs of their own.
Saturday afternoon the Yankees struck first again, putting four runs on the board in the first inning.
Saturday evening, the Yankees followed the pattern, adding three runs in the top of the first. Red Sox Nation was boiling over with frustration. A loss is hard enough to take, but losing to the Yankees is extremely painful—like having to watch an eight-hour marathon of The Nanny painful.
After a bad first inning, Sox pitcher Felix Doubront settled down and held the Bronx Bombers to just four runs in 6.1 innings pitched, allowing just three earned.
The offense, on the other hand, found its spark in the most peculiar of places.
Pedro Ciriaco, a career minor-league player, was added to the roster with the injuries to both Will Middlebrooks and Dustin Pedroia putting a large dent in the armor of the infield.
Most fans couldn't have picked out Ciriaco in a crowd before the start of the game.
By the seventh inning the Fenway Faithful were chanting "Pedro, Pedro, Pedro" in waves reminiscent of Pedro Martinez cheers.
Ciriaco sparked the offense by going 4-for-5, adding a double that drove in three runs, scoring twice and stealing third base in the seventh inning.
Defensively, Ciriaco made a couple of eye-popping plays at short that roused Red Sox fans out of their seats.
He put on a show, simply put.
Going into today's action, Ciriaco had only played in 31 career major-league games for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2010 and 2011. He racked up 815 minor league games.
In the minors he is a career .272 batter with speed and a solid glove. If the Red Sox decide to ride the hot hand in the absence of Middlebrooks and Pedroia, they certainly could do a lot worse than the hero of the day, Ciriaco.
In his last at-bat, coming in the bottom of the eight, Ciriaco came to the plate to a resounding standing ovation from Red Sox fans. Proper thanks given from a fanbase in need of a spark to man who just yesterday was an unassuming recipient.