As he has done countless times before, Jose Iglesias scooped up the grounder with those soft hands and fired to first with that strong arm. This time, however, it meant a little bit more.
Iglesias, called up from Triple-A Pawtucket on Sunday, recorded the final out of the Red Sox' 9-5 win over the Minnesota Twins to make a tiny contribution in his major league debut. Second baseman Dustin Pedroia put his arm around the 21-year-old shortstop, who then got in line to high-five his new teammates on the Fenway Park infield.
Iglesias entered the game as a defensive replacement for Jed Lowrie in the ninth, so the grounder was his only dose of action. Considering he was just getting his feet wet, it went about as well as it could have.
"Thought the timing was good. Let him get out there and let him get some nerves out of the way, be part of what we're doing," manager Terry Francona said. "It worked out well."
That does not mean there weren't a few jitters for Iglesias. In fact, they went through the roof just before the inning began.
Marco Scutaro, whose oblique strain opened up a roster spot for Iglesias, hid the youngster's glove in the camera well aside the Red Sox dugout. There was a moment of panic then, but nothing but appreciation after the game.
"I was happy. I was super happy," Iglesias said of the day through an interpreter.
In keeping with the rookie-treatment theme, Iglesias' neighbor in the clubhouse, Adrian Gonzalez, offered up his own piece of advice.
"Told him to make sure he's got the drinks we need on the bus. That's his job," Gonzalez said.
There are no expectations of playing time for Iglesias, and no timetable for the return of Scutaro, who will not even swing a bat for a week or so. When Iglesias does get out there again, at least some of those the jitters will be gone. Also, he'll know where to look if his glove his missing.