Holt shines in first big-league game of year

Holt shines in first big-league game of year
April 19, 2014, 12:45 am
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BOSTON -- As is sometimes the case with call-ups from the minor leagues, Brock Holt's trip to the bigs was rushed.

The PawSox got in from a series in Rochester, NY at 3 a.m. on Friday morning. After a late arrival to the ballpark in Pawtucket, Holt found out at about 2 p.m. that he'd be headed up to Boston. 

Forced to fight through rush-hour traffic, Holt arrived at Fenway Park around 4:30 p.m. He didn't take batting practice out on the field, but he was in uniform in plenty of time to start at third base and hit in the No. 9 spot in the Sox order.

He didn't play like he was hurried.

Holt finished the game with two hits, including a two-out RBI single that came in a 10-pitch battle with Orioles starter Chris Tillman. He also made a diving stop and putout in the eighth inning to rob Nelson Cruz of a hit.

"Played well," Farrell said of the 25-year-old. "I thought he played very good defensively. He put up some good at-bats including the line-out to right field against [Orioles lefty reliever Brian] Matusz. He did what we hoped that he would, and that's give us a spark in the bottom third of that order."

Though Holt's strong day came in an 8-4 loss to the Orioles, he was happy to impress in his first major-league game of the season.

"Anytime you contribute anywhere you're at, it's good," Holt said. "To be able to come up here and get the first one under my belt is a good feeling."

Farrell said before Friday night's contest that Holt played his way up to the big leagues. He'd earned it.

Newly-signed utility man Ryan Roberts struggled since signing with the Red Sox after third baseman Will Middlebrooks went on the disabled list with a strained calf. Roberts was designated for assignment and Holt -- who slashed .380/.446/.600 in 12 games in Pawtucket -- got the call.

"I'm feeling real comfortable in the box," Holt said. "I was down there. I can hopefully carry that over to up here as well."

Holt had been called up earlier this month, before Roberts was signed. But he was with the team for just one game and did not play before being sent back down.

After he was demoted, he tweeted, "Well...that was fun. At least my groceries won't go bad now."

"I'd just gone grocery shopping in Pawtucket," he said Friday night. "I came up here and that was a thought going through my mind, like, 'Damn I just wasted all that money groceries.' I ended up eating them so it worked out."

And, so far, so has his latest stay in the majors.