KANSAS CITY -- This isn't the first trip back to Kansas City for Mike Aviles since being traded by the Royals to the Red Sox at the trade deadline last July.
But still, returning home to his original baseball home is special for the Red Sox shortstop.
"It feels good," said Aviles. "Last year (returning three weeks after being dealt) was a little weird. This time isn't as weird. But it definitely feels good. It's always good to see the guys and come back to where you started. I know I had a good sleep last night so I can be extra hyper today because I like coming here. I always like playing in this park."
It was only 10 months ago that Aviles was traded, but in some ways, it feels longer.
"Getting traded, you kind of have to turn the page and move forward and get on the program with the new organization," said Aviles. "That's kind of what happened when I got traded. When you have that going on, it makes it feel like it's been a long time. But it really hasn't. I haven't even better here a year, but I feel like I've been here a lot longer."
Aviles was drafted by the Royals in 2003 and played parts of four seasons with them before the Sox obtained him last July 30. Toward the end of his time with the Royals, Aviles had become a role player and was eager for the chance to play every day.
When the Sox traded Jed Lowrie and Marco Scutaro over the winter, that chance arrived.
"Any time you get an opportunity (to play), it's definitely fun," he said. "I'm just enjoying my opportunity and trying to take advantage of it and show everybody that I can play."
Heading into the series, Aviles was hitting .265 with five homers and 19 RBI.
"I feel like I've proven that I can play on an everyday basis in the big leagues," said Aviles. "I feel like I still need to prove it because that's just my personality."