Versatile utility man doubles twice, throws out runner from LF
By Deesha Thosar
BOSTON -- After a rocky road trip, the Red Sox needed a spark and Brock Holt delivered it. Boston used the return of Holt's energy to its advantage in a 5-4 win over the Angels on a rainy Friday night at Fenway Park.
Holt returned to the lineup in left field after recovering from a concussion for more than a month. The Red Sox optioned infielder Mike Miller to Triple-A Pawtucket as the corresponding move to Holt being activated off the disabled list.
"It felt good to just be back out here," Holt said. "I contributed a little bit. It was a lot longer than I hoped to be out but happy to be back."
The 28-year-old was excited to acclimate himself on the field and he adjusted fluently. Holt went 2-for-4 with two doubles and two RBIs, flashing his glove just as much as his bat.
In the fourth inning, C.J. Cron hit a line drive to left field with knuckleballer Steven Wright on the hill. As the ball trickled into the corner, Cron rounded first base and decided to go for two. Holt picked up on the approach and threw a bullet to second, getting Cron for the out.
"Those plays are fun," Holt said. "[I] just tried to get to the ball as quick as I could and tried to throw an accurate ball to [Dustin Pedroia] Pedey and he was there and put a good tag on it and it was a big play for us."
Instead of gingerly approaching his first game in over a month, Holt wasn't afraid to go for the deeper balls knowing center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. was there to support him.
In the sixth, Albert Pujols hit a high fly ball towards the Green Monster. Holt charged with purpose for the grab and though he came up empty handed, displayed strength and perseverance for a team that's been rocky for a few weeks.
"There's some stuff in the back of my mind obviously but I'm trying not to let it affect me and just play like I would regularly. I heard Jackie, he's good about backing us up and letting us know, "Hey go after it," so I heard him say that and I wanted to give it a shot. I wasn't even close to it but like I said Jackie was there to back me up," Holt said.
Holt said he feels good about being back at Fenway and the Red Sox like having Holt back too. After Friday's win, Boston is 23-9 with Holt starting this season. Holt said he was aware the team plays better with him on it.
"He had two doubles, two hits on his first day back. Threw a guy out at second. Definitely made a comeback," Travis Shaw said.
Deesha Thosar is a reporter for MLB.com based in Boston. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.