Butler, Rivero enjoy milestone hits

BOSTON -- Red Sox catcher Dan Butler and infielder Carlos Rivero are not your average rookies.

Between the two of them, they have a combined 15 seasons of minor league experience. Butler was signed by the Red Sox as an undrafted free agent in 2009. Rivero was signed by the Cleveland Indians as an amateur free agent in 2005 and found his way to the Red Sox as a minor league free agent in the offseason.

The road to the major leagues has been long and hard for both players, but what they were able to each accomplish Wednesday against the Baltimore Orioles stood out as a bright spot in an otherwise dreary 10-6 loss that brought the Red Sox's losing streak to four.

Butler collected his first major league hit -- a double -- and Rivero hit his first career home run as the two were able to take advantage of a rare opportunity to start for Boston. The start was the fourth of Butler's career and first of Rivero's.

Called up to Boston in August, Butler had been hitless in his first 12 at-bats before he came to the plate in the sixth inning. Coincidentally, the Red Sox had nothing going for them offensively as a whole, as Baltimore starter Wei-Yin Chen had retired the first 16 batters he faced.

Then came Butler, who lined a fastball into center field for his double and broke up the perfect game. As if that weren't enough, Butler chipped in a double in the eighth and a single in the ninth to put together a 3-for-4 effort at the plate.

"A big day for him, obviously, getting his first one out of the way," manager John Farrell said. "When you look back on the path he's taken, which is not a common one, it's a big day in his baseball career."

"To get the offense going and get my first hit at the same time is a pretty fun experience," Butler said. "Anytime I can get a multi-hit game is good for us and good for me. It was fun."

Rivero, who also got called up in August, joined the fun in the ninth when he launched a three-run home run off Orioles reliever Joe Saunders just over the Monster in left field for his first career shot. The blast came a day after he recorded his first major league hit as a defensive replacement for a sick Will Middlebrooks on Tuesday.

"It's something really special to me after such a long road," Rivero said through translator Adrian Lorenzo. "To be able to hit my first home run here at Fenway Park, it's something that really meant a lot to me and something I'll never forget."

"Thankfully the Red Sox have given me the opportunity in September to come up here and play with the big league club," he added. "I'm ecstatic to be here."

Although Butler has paid his dues to get to where he is now, he spoke highly of Rivero and being able to share a career milestone with a player whose path to the majors has been similar to his.

"It's great for Carlos, and I'm really happy for him," Butler said.