Holt again shows he's X factor for Red Sox

Left fielder swats go-ahead blast, throws out runner at home to preserve lead

Holt again shows he's X factor for Red Sox

BOSTON -- Brock Holt has the type of versatility and intangibles that have led people to refer to him as a "winning player." Better yet, there is some data that proves it.

Backed by Holt's bat and arm, the Red Sox rolled to a 12-5 win over the Rangers on Monday afternoon at Fenway.

Boston is 3-0 in the three games Holt has started in his return from a concussion that kept him out for more than a month.

When Holt starts in left field this season, the club is 24-8. Boston is 21-29 with everybody else.

Farrell on Holt, Porcello in win

"Usually he's involved in a play where it's going to be meaningful," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "And he demonstrated in both ways today. He's a smart player all the way around. An exceptional baserunner, a very good defender and he's had the ability to have the knack for a timely hit."

Boston was down, 4-0, after a half-inning, and chipped away swiftly. Holt came up in the bottom of the third with his team down a run and promptly drilled a two-run homer that landed on the top of the bullpen wall in right-center, and then rolled into the 'pen, where teammate Robbie Ross Jr. scooped it up.

Of the 10 home runs Holt has hit since 2014, five have given the Red Sox the lead.

"On the home run, I'm just trying to get a good pitch and I fortunately got one up and bounced it over," said Holt.

In the top of the fourth, the Rangers tried to offset the momentum of Holt's home run. But they hit it to the wrong guy. With Shin-Soo Choo on second and two outs, Ian Desmond stung a hit into left. Choo raced around third and Holt came up throwing. His throw was in time, and catcher Sandy Leon applied the tag, setting off a roar from the Fenway crowd.

Holt throws Choo out at home

"With two outs, I knew he would be going," said Holt. "He didn't hit it hard. I just tried to get to it as fast as I could and made a good throw. Sandy made a better tag for me."

Holt is confident that the more he plays, the better he will feel in his recovery. And by now, the Red Sox are pretty sure that the more he plays, the more they will win.

"I'm still working through some stuff," said Holt. "I felt good in my rehab games. The next step was coming here and I felt confident that the way I was feeling, I would be able to contribute. It's worked out."

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.