Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 7/30/12

Infielder Pedro Ciriaco did it again. Ciriaco delivered the game-winning hit Sunday night, a fisted blooper

into shallow right field to score Jarrod Saltalamacchia in the 10th inning and give the Red Sox a 3-2

victory over the Yankees. But Ciriaco's presence in the lineup at shortstop had little to do with his

recent hot streak or his go-ahead RBI triple in the ninth inning Saturday night. Instead, it was due to SS

Mike Aviles' toe trouble. Aviles is still dealing with a turf toe condition that has caused him discomfort,

particularly at the plate. He has only one hit in his last 18 at-bats. Ciriaco, meanwhile, is on a roll. In

18 games since being called up from Triple-A Pawtucket, he's batting .349 with three doubles and two

triples. "The only time I ever saw him play was spring training, and he hit .500 or something. So, he's

playing like crap right now," second baseman Dustin Pedroia said with a laugh. "He's got to get going. But

no, he's been huge for us." But although Ciriaco is riding a hot streak, Valentine wants to be careful to

not expose his weaknesses by giving him too much playing time. "You're seeing him at his best right now,

and obviously every player has some flaws," Valentine said. "I think he's going to be a contributing factor

all year long. I don't necessarily see him as a starting player every day but he can do it if we needed him

to."

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