BOSTON -- Upon recalling Brock Holt on Friday afternoon, Red Sox manager John Farrell said the infielder was brought in to help spark the bottom-third of his team’s lineup.
Make Holt 2-for-2 in that department.
Holt hit a go-ahead RBI triple in the seventh inning of Saturday’s 4-2 win over the Baltimore Orioles. The clutch hit came a day after Holt went 2-for-4 with an RBI hitting out of the no. 9 spot in his season debut.
“You want to go out and play well any time you’re out there,” Holt said. “To get these first two ones under my belt and to have a little bit of success, hopefully [I can] just keep carrying it over game by game.”
Following a Mike Carp walk delivered by Orioles starter Bud Norris to start the seventh, catcher David Ross came to the plate looking to bunt Carp over to second. After several pitches from Norris came high-and-tight to Ross while he attempted to bunt, the two exchanged words, prompting both benches to clear briefly.
Although Ross, who ended up striking out, downplayed the situation after the game, Holt said the moment helped to fire up the team.
“Bunting is not an easy thing to do, that’s why we’ve got nine guys on our team,” he said. “Guys are going to have to pick guys up every now and then.”
After both teams returned to their dugouts, Holt wasted no time in taking advantage, lining a 92-mph fastball from Norris toward the right-center field gap between Adam Jones and Nick Markakis. Thinking triple out of the box, the 25-year-old took advantage of a Jones bobble to make it into third base standing.
“A big hit by Brock Holt, that was huge him coming through right there,” Ross said. “We need more timely hits. It was nice having a young guy coming and getting some big hits like that.”
With Holt now standing on third and one out in the inning, Farrell called for shortstop Jonathan Herrera to lay down a bunt against Orioles reliever Evan Meek. Meek, who hadn’t allowed any of his two inherited runners to score this season entering Saturday’s game, got Herrera to foul a bunt before he executed a safety squeeze to put the Red Sox up by two runs.
“As we’ve seen with Jonathan, very good bat handler, good bat control,” Farrell said. “Lays down, once again, a very good bunt.”
Farrell said that Herrera’s bunting ability was something the Red Sox had in mind when they acquired him in December.
“We were well aware of the type of offensive player he was,” Farrell said. “Switch-hitter, can do pretty much the same type of offensive approach from both sides of the plate. He’s a very good player that takes advantage of his skills.”
Farrell also spoke highly of Holt, who is now 3-for-7 with two RBIs in his two starts since being recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket. Holt was hitting .380 with eight extra-base hits in his first 12 games with the PawSox, and Farrell is happy to be getting similar production out of him at the major league level.
“What we’ve seen, I know it’s just two games, but he’s shown a little bit more authority with some ability to impact the baseball, particularly to the pull side,” Farrell said. “He does have that extra-base ability. He was doing it in Pawtucket and this continued here.
“He wasn’t going to come up to sit for us, we were going to play him, particularly against right-handed starters," Farrell said. "He’s continued on with what has earned his promotion and that’s been a very good offensive approach.”
Holt said he’ll continue to keep himself at an even keel moving forward.
“Baseball’s a funny game, you can be the hero one day and a goat the next,” he said. “You’ve just got to come in, don’t get too high, don’t get too low.”