Iglesias finds success at the plate

Iglesias finds success at the plate
September 21, 2012, 4:18 am
Share This Post

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- It would have been nicer had not the bottom of the ninth transpired as it did, with the Tampa Bay Rays rallying for six runs to overtake the Red Sox, 7-4.
But Jose Iglesias couldn't deny the obvious: this was a big night for him.
After starting the road trip 0-and-11, which included the now infamous at-bat in which his manager pinch-hit for him four pitches in, Iglesias enjoyed his best day as a major leaguer Thursday, collecting three hits, the last of which was his first homer in the big leagues.
"Definitely,'' agreed Iglesias, who carried an over 0-for-13 skid into the game. "No doubt.''
"Iggy was fantastic,'' said Bobby Valentine. "He had real good batting practice today. He was very aggressive and he took it right into the game. He swung at the first pitch twice and got a couple of singles and then swung hard and hit one out of the park. It seems like every game, his confidence has been building. He's been getting walks and having better at-bats.''
Iglesias had been just 2-for-35 this season before Thursday night, but suggested his approach at the plate hadn't undergone any adjustments.
"'I'm just trying to put the ball in play,'' he said. "Nothing changed. I've been doing the same thing the last few days. Fortunately,tonight, some balls found some holes.''
The homer, which he drove hard to left-center, was a special thrill.
Asked how he felt rounding the bases for the first time in the big leagues, he said: "Greatest feeling in the world.''
The clubhouse staff arranged for the retrieval of the ball as a souvenir, but not before his teammates gave him the customary cold shoulder upon his return to the dugout. Eventually, they relented and mobbed him with congratulations.
But almost as quickly as it happened, Iglesias turned his attenton to the final two weeks of the season, while maintaining the proper attitude.
"The most important thing,'' he said, "is to stay positive and not focus on the results.''
Even if, for one night, that was particularly hard to do.