BOSTON -- Royals second baseman Johnny Giavotella was fired up about playing his first game at Fenway Park on Friday night.
"I'm very excited about it, it's going to be a fun time," Giavotella said. "I know it's got a lot of tradition, it's been around forever and that Babe Ruth played here -- and all the Red Sox and Yankees greats I heard about growing up so I'm excited to play on the same field they did."
Giavotella got to play his first game at Fenway in the grand old establishment's 100th anniversary season. The Royals lost, 4-3, as he went 1-for-4, including an RBI single that gave the Royals a 3-2 lead in the fourth inning.
Fenway fans are seeing a confident, content and relaxed Giavotella who was playing his sixth game since being recalled last Saturday to replace injured second baseman Chris Getz.
Giavotella was just 3-for-18 (.167) in his first five games, but he ran smack into five pretty formidable starters -- Chicago's Jake Peavy and Jose Quintana and Tampa Bay's Jeremy Hellickson, David Price and James Shields.
"It's definitely a challenge and I didn't really experience that in Triple-A -- facing guys this good," he said.
Manager Ned Yost said his focus right now is Giavotella's defense, an area needing improvement, more than his offense.
"He turned a tough double play the other day and looked much better doing it. His range is more fluid, his hands are softer," Yost said.
Giavotella believes he's made progress.
"I'm feeling very comfortable out there," he said. "I feel like no matter where a ground ball is hit to me, I'm going to make the play."
Now about Fenway and that left-field wall that might seem very inviting to a young, right-handed batter.
"I always think about the middle and focus on spraying the ball around," Giavotella said. "Maybe if I get a ball inside and put a good swing on it, maybe it'll hit the Green Monster."
Or perhaps sail over it.
"Even someone my size can get it out of here," said the 5-foot-8, 180-pound Giavotella.