Ciriaco, Beato two unlikely August contributors for Red Sox

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Ciriaco, Beato two unlikely August contributors for Red Sox

BOSTON -- Not many would have assumed -- in the spring -- that Pedro Ciriaco and Pedro Beato would be leading the way for the Red Sox in a late-August game at Fenway Park.

But here they were, helping the Red Sox to an 8-6 win over the Kansas City Royals on Sunday at Fenway Park.

Ciriaco finished 3-for-5 with a home run, two RBI, and two runs scored, while Beato picked up his first win in his Red Sox debut.

Offensively, Ciriaco's seventh-inning RBI single put the Red Sox up 7-4, and eventually became the game-winner, as the Royals were able to get two more runs in the top of the eighth off lefty reliever Craig Breslow.

Those two runs, however, went against Beato, as he loaded the bases with two singles and a walk, without recording an out. An RBI sacrifice fly and then an RBI single off Breslow cut Boston's lead to 7-6, but Breslow was able to get out of the inning, helping to secure Beato's first win of the season, in his Red Sox debut.

"He got the whole team out of a big jam," said Beato after the game. "He minimized the damage, and that's what he was out there for."

Beato allowed only one hit and struck out two batters in his first two innings, after coming in to relieve Felix Doubront in a 4-4 game to begin the sixth inning.

"Pedro Beato, I had never seen him before," said Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine after the game. "He did just a fabulous job in two innings and shutting them down."

"Everything was going," said Beato. "I mean, I was throwing the ball down in the zone and just throwing strikes. Keeping hitters off balance and put the ball on the ground. That's the best thing I can do. Even that last inning, I got two ground balls. But unfortunately, they just found a hole."

When Breslow minimized that damage by allowing only two of those runs to score in the eighth, the only thing keeping Beato's win in place was Ciriaco's RBI single in the bottom of the seventh.

It was strictly a sign of Ciriaco's speed, as he ran out a grounder to third with bases loaded and two outs, beating the throw.

"He's been great," said Pedroia. "I mean, geez, he's put the ball on the barrel. He runs the bases well. He plays great defense. He's been awesome. He's learning too, he's still young. He's playing the game right. It's fun."

Ciriaco's other RBI came in the bottom of the fifth, as he ripped a solo home run off the AAA sign over the monster seats, which cut Kansas City's lead to 4-3 at the time.

"He gave me a good pitch to hit, and I hit it well," said Ciriaco after the game.

To calculate just how clutch Ciriaco has been this season, you don't have to ask Beato. All you need to do is see that seven of his 16 RBI this season have come in the seventh inning or later. And since joining the team in July, Ciriaco has eight games with three or more hits, which is tied for second most on the Red Sox.

Needless to say, he's trying to be here for more than just this second half of the season.

"Every time I get up to the plate, I just want to have fun," said Ciriaco after Sunday's win. "I'm just trying to survive, and stay here. I don't want to be like jumping around. I just want to be part of the team here.

"I'm really happy to be here, and the opportunity that Valentine gave me to play, that's good for me. It's fun."

Youkilis weighs in on Valentine possibly being Japan ambassador

Youkilis weighs in on Valentine possibly being Japan ambassador

Among the reactions to the news that Bobby Valentine was possibly being considered to be the US amassador to Japan in President Donald Trump’s administration was this beauty from Kevin Youkilis. 

Valentine famously called out Youkilis early in his stormy tenure as Red Sox manager in 2012. Remember? "I don't think he's as physically or emotionally into the game as he has been in the past for some reason," Bobby V said of Youk at the time. 

The Red Sox traded Youkilis to the White Sox for two not-future Hall of Famers, outfielder Brent Lillibridge and right-hander Zach Stewart, later that season.

Youkilis, now Tom Brady’s brother-in-law by the way, had a 21-game stint playing in Japan in 2014 before retiring from baseball. 

 

Report: Bobby Valentine could be Trump’s US ambassador to Japan

Report: Bobby Valentine could be Trump’s US ambassador to Japan

Major league manager. Inventor of the wrap sandwich. Champion ballroom dancer.  And…

US ambassador to Japan?

Bobby Valentine is on the short list for that position in President Donald Trump’s administration, according to a WEEI.com report.

The former Red Sox manager (fired after a 69-93 season and last-place finish in 2012), and ex-New York Mets and Texas Rangers, skipper, also managed the Chiba Lotte Marines in Japan’s Pacific League for six seasons. 

When asked by the New York Daily News if he's being considered for the post, Valentine responded: "I haven't been contacted by anyone on Trump's team." 

Would he be interested?

"I don't like to deal in hypotheticals," Valentine told the Daily News.

Valentine, 66, has known the President-elect and Trump's brother Bob since the 1980s, is close to others on Trump’s transition team and has had preliminary discussions about the ambassador position, sources told WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford. 

Valentine, currently the athletic director of Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Conn., is also friendly with current Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who, like Valentine, attended the University of Southern California.