Holland firing on all cylinders in return for KC

Holland firing on all cylinders in return for KC

KANSAS CITY -- Even though the Royals fell out of first place on Friday night, there was some good news at the end of the evening: Closer Greg Holland was back and looking sharp.

Holland entered the game in the ninth when the Red Sox held their final 4-2 lead and delivered a scoreless inning.

Not only that, but Holland had three strikeout victims -- Christian Vazquez, Mookie Betts and Xander Bogaerts -- and he also walked Jemile Weeks. The All-Star reliever threw 18 pitches, including 12 strikes.

"I thought Holly threw good," manager Ned Yost said. "He got his fastball up to 95. Good slider, good command, three punchouts. So I'm happy to see that."

Yost wanted to test Holland in a relatively low-leverage situation for his first time back "and then throw him back in the fire."

Holland sat out eight days after getting his 42nd save on Sept. 3 against Texas due to a tight right triceps.

Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.