Iglesias: 'Every day you're learning something'

Iglesias: 'Every day you're learning something'

Iglesias: 'Every day you're learning something'
BOSTON -- There was a moment during Thursday night's 7-4 loss to the Rays that left Jose Iglesias looking more and more like he fit on a Major League roster.

After smashing a ninth-inning home run -- a no-doubter that cleared the first few rows of seats in deep left-center field -- Iglesias ran hard around the bases without cracking a smile.

When Iglesias walked into the dugout, his teammates gave him the silent treatment for a moment, so he calmly put his bat and helmet away and sat down.

It was his first career homer, but the 22-year-old hardly looked phased.

Iglesias was eventually mobbed, high-fived, smacked and hugged.

"It was just one, but I really enjoyed it," he said on Friday. "I've just been feeling great the last few days. I feel more comfortable on the field, but also off the field."

If Iglesias can build off some of that momentum after his 3-for-4 performance, he could open some eyes as he continues to build a resume he hopes will land him a starting job next spring.

The Cuban defector signed an $8.25 million deal over four years which began after the 2009 season, so he still has two more years with the Red Sox to prove his worth as an everyday player.

The defensive whiz has just five hits in 39 at-bats with the Sox in 2012, though, and three of the hits came on Thursday.

Although the Sox are just playing out the string, he doesn't mind being judged on such a small sample size.

He's maturing.

"Baseball is always the same," he said. "We're in the big leagues, we're facing big league pitchers and we have fun. That's all we can do in this game.

"Every day you're learning something. You never stop learning."

Meanwhile, Mike Aviles has become somewhat of an odd man out, getting just three at-bats in the last five games. Valentine said he had no idea how much playing time Aviles would get down the final stretch.

"I wish I had that figured out, for his sake," Valentine said. "I'm not sure. ... I know he has 500-plus at-bats and he's had a heck of season."