The Boston Red Sox activated third baseman Will Middlebrooks from the 15-day disabled list prior to Monday's game against the Tampa Bay Rays.
Middlebrooks, who has been sidelined since May 24 with a lower back strain, will start and bat eighth in Monday's opener of a three-game series with the Rays from Tropicana Field.
The second-year major leaguer was batting just .201 with 54 strikeouts in 174 at-bats prior to being shelved, though he does have eight home runs and 21 RBI in 46 games on the season. Middlebrooks hit two more homers while hitting .294 in a five-game rehab stint with Triple-A Pawtucket.
To make room on the active roster, the Red Sox designated infielder Pedro Ciriaco for assignment.
Ciriaco hit .293 with 16 stolen bases over 76 games with Boston last season, but was batting just .216 this year and had been supplanted by youngster Jose Iglesias as the club's utility infielder.
Iglesias is batting an astounding .446 (33-for-74) on the season and is presently riding a 13-game hitting streak.