Despite alternating playing time with Kevin Youkilis on a day-to-day basis, Middlebrooks remains unfazed. It's an approach that he shares in common with childhood friend and 49ers running back LaMichael James.
During Thursday's 6-5 win over the Marlins, Middlebrooks once again proved he was prepared for the moment, clubbing the game-tying, two-run home run in the eighth inning ?? before setting up Daniel Nava to deliver the game-winning haymaker.
"When we got called up here, we wanted to gain their trust and let them know we can come through and help them win," Middlebrooks said of himself, Nava and Ryan Kalish. "It?s good to see it happen."
It was the second straight night that Middlebrooks homered in the eighth inning against the Marlins. Unlike Wednesday's game, when the third baseman's home run was insurance in a blowout, Middlebrooks came through in the clutch.
The blast punctuated a memorable night for the 23-year-old, who went 3-for-4 with four RBIs. By driving in the runs, Middlebrooks has now recorded an RBI in five consecutive games.
Even with the youngster's string of success, Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine doesn't have any concrete plans to give Middlebrooks the full-time rights to third base ?? over Youkilis ?? just yet.
"It seems like he's doing just fine like this," Valentine said. "He?s keeping sharp. He's watching, he?s learning and when he's in there, he doesn?t look like he?s missing a beat, obviously."
Although Middlebrooks delivered a grand slam in May, he recognized Thursday's heroics as the highlight of his major league season.
"For sure, this keeps a winning streak going and gets us some momentum," he said. "We've been playing hard all season, so we come here with one goal every day, and that?s to win."
Through it all, Middlebrooks has been consistent despite inconsistent playing time.