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Tuesday, June 17, 2014
Rapid reaction: Red Sox 2, Twins 1

By Gordon Edes



BOSTON -- Brock Holt has yet to exhaust the ways he can help the Red Sox, who beat the Minnesota Twins 2-1 Tuesday night.

He hasn’t raked the infield for groundskeeper Dave Mellor, washed a uniform for equipment manager Tom McLaughlin, booked a hotel for traveling secretary Jack McCormick, or sang the anthem for entertainment manager Dan Lyons.

He hasn’t done an inning with broadcaster Don Orsillo, played a note for organist Josh Kantor, served as a guide for tour coordinator Scott Towers, or written a speech for Dr. Charles Steinberg.

He hasn’t schmoozed clients with COO Sam Kennedy, given a massage with masseur Russell Nua or set a bone with Dr. Larry Ronan. He hasn’t caught a bullpen, managed an inning, made a trade or signed a prospect.

Then again, it isn’t until Wednesday that Holt will have been here two full months, so give him time.

Making his first-ever start in center field, which coincided with Boston’s decision to drop veteran Grady Sizemore from the roster, rookie Holt made an acrobatic catch of a ball that left-fielder Jonny Gomes lost in the twilight, burnishing a resume that already includes stints at third base, first base and left field.

Holt also remains bent on showing he can hit regardless of where he plays. He singled and scored in the first on Dustin Pedroia’s double, and doubled, stole third and scored on Xander Bogaerts’ sacrifice fly in the third. Those were the only runs the Sox would score Tuesday night.

Those were also the only runs the Sox would need, as Jon Lester and four relievers limited the Minnesota Twins to a single run on four hits before a crowd of 36,835 in Fenway Park.

Seriously, a series win: The Sox had lost three straight series on the road, then split four games here with Cleveland, but two straight wins against the Twins assures them of their first series win since taking three straight from the Rays May 30-June 1 at Fenway Park.

Mujica time?!: With closer Koji Uehara having worked in each of the last three games and four of the last five, manager John Farrell turned to Edward Mujica and his 6.29 ERA to close. Mujica, who hadn’t pitched since June 11 in Baltimore, struck out Josh Willingham and Kendry Morales, then retired Oswaldo Arcia on a shallow fly for his second save for the Sox this season.

Fenway or Death Valley?: For the sixth straight game on this homestand, Sox pitchers held the opposition to three or fewer runs. The Twins have scored a total of one run in two games, which is why the Sox are now 3-21 in games in which they’ve scored three or fewer runs. The Sox have allowed 9 earned runs in 56 innings on this homestand, for a collective ERA of 1.44. Lester, now 8-7, endured a 33-pitch first inning, then pitched into the seventh, allowing four hits and a run, for his eighth win against seven losses. He walked one and whiffed six.