As Pedro Ciriaco came to the plate in the eighth inning Saturday night, the sellout crowd at Fenway Park stood as one and applauded.
“Pedro, Pedro, Pedro,” they chanted.
It was a tribute the 26-year-old infielder who was added to the roster on Friday and played his first two games Saturday. Until he arrived at Fenway Park and was given No. 77, his career highlight was starting four games for the Pirates last season.
Then they released him.
But Ciriaco became part of rivalry lore on this night. He was 4 for 5 with two doubles, two runs scored, four RBIs and a steal as the Red Sox rallied to beat the Yankees, 9-5.
“It was amazing. It was a good feeling,” Ciriaco said of hearing his name chanted. “That was my first time. It was a big surprise.”
Bobby Valentine took it all in from the dugout.
“I loved that,” he said. “What it does it tells you what kind of fans we have. It was a wonderful baseball moment. I could guarantee you most people came to the ballpark and they weren’t carrying his baseball card with them. But they recognized a super performance.”
Another minor league veteran, Mauro Gomez had three hits, scored two runs and contributed one RBI.
It was the first victory against the Yankees in five games for the Red Sox this season. The Yankees committed five errors that led to four unearned runs. The victory also snapped a five-game losing streak.
“Every victory is important,” Valentine said. “It’s good to beat these guys and it’s good to come back. It seemed like they were going to score early and keep us down. The guys were determined to come up off the floor.”
Felix Doubront (9-4) went 6 1/3 innings for the win. He allowed a three-run homer by Mark Teixeira in the first inning then only one run the rest of the way.
A long day of baseball ended with a victory for the Red Sox. For now, they can exhale and hope Jon Lester can get them a split on Sunday night.
“Fun night,” Nick Punto said. “We needed that.”