NEW YORK — He is the other rookie. And Jose Iglesias had himself a day.
Iglesias, the shortstop playing in place of injured Stephen Drew, went 3 for 5 with three infield singles, adding an RBI and a run.
Iglesias did not disappoint with the glove, handling every play flawlessly, including the swift turn of a double play to get Ichiro Suzuki at first.
One of Iglesias’ hits was a smoothly executed bunt to the first-base side. Iglesias has worked hard on his bunting in spring training and it showed.
“It was good to see Iglesias use the small game,” said Sox Manager John Farrell.
While three singles, totaling about 250 feet, may not make for an offensive juggernaut, Iglesias showed he can be effective with the bat, while playing his dynamite defense.
Still, Iglesias’ time in the big leagues this season is tenuous. Drew is expected to begin playing soon, apparently recovered from the concussion suffered in spring training.
DUSTIN PEDROIA got the first Red Sox hit of the season, which was not a total surprise. Pedroia has a seven-game hit streak over the past seven openers. Pedroia finished 2 for 6 with an RBI.
Pedroia desperately tried to get a third hit in the ninth, diving into first base to try to beat a throw. Pedroia has had hand and finger injuries before. The slide, with an 8-2 lead, was probably not a good idea.
DAVID ORTIZ walked to his locker before Monday’s game and saw a crowd of reporters waiting. “What do you want?” Ortiz asked in his typical mock anger.
Ortiz was not in the lineup Monday. He is on the disabled list, still troubled by a sore heel.
This marked the first time that Ortiz was not Boston’s opening-day designated hitter since 2003, when Jeremy Giambi got the call over Ortiz.
“It feels weird. Opening day is one time when you want to be good to go,” Ortiz said.
Ortiz can take batting practice. Running the bases may be the next step. Ortiz goes back to the Red Sox facility in Fort Myers, Fla., on Thursday. He hopes to play in some extended spring training games next week.
“That’s our goal,” Ortiz said. “It feels pretty good. I’m at the point right now where it is more stable. Moving forward.”
WILL MIDDLEBROOKS went 0 for 4 Monday with a walk. But it was amazing he was in uniform at all. Suffering from flu-like symptoms, Middlebrooks slumped in a chair in the clubhouse before the game.
“I can’t move,” Middlebrooks said. He had a fever of 102, his head was stuffed and he sounded awful.
But Middlebrooks played. His walk resulted in an insurance run in the seventh inning. And now Middlebrooks can enjoy the day off today, in bed.
THE SANDY HOOK shooting tragedy in Newtown, Conn., was the focus of Monday’s pregame ceremony. A black ribbon with the town seal of Newtown was painted on the stadium grass in two places. All of the players wore a similar patch.
Before the game, a long moment of silence was held as the victims’ names scrolled across the stadium’s video screen.
Kevin Thomas can be contacted at 791-6411 or at: