Holt's clutch triple lifts Sox over Orioles, 4-2

Holt's clutch triple lifts Sox over Orioles, 4-2
April 19, 2014, 4:30 pm
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(USA Today Sports Images)

BOSTON -- Who knew that the Red Sox had their answer at third base waiting in Pawtucket all along?

After trying Ryan Roberts and Jonathan Herrera at third after Will Middlebrooks hit the disabled list with a strained calf two weeks ago, the Red Sox have received good defense and strong offensive production with recent minor-league call-up Brock Holt.

In his second start in as many days since joining the team on Friday afternoon, Holt drilled a triple to the right-center field gap to score Mike Carp from first base for the game-winning run in the second game of a four-game series with Baltimore.

Moments later, Herrera -- playing shorstop in place of Xander Bogaerts, who got a day off Saturday -- brought Holt home to score on a safety squeeze and the Sox eventually won, 4-2.

Just before Holt's blast, there were the beginnings of some fireworks at Fenway. With Carp on first and David Ross up, Ross attempted to bunt Carp into scoring position. On a 2-1 count, Ross squared and Baltimore starter Bud Norris uncorked a fastball that buzzed under Ross' chin.

Ross, taking exception, had words for Norris and then for O's catcher Matt Wieters, who stepped in on behalf of his pitcher.

Both benches cleared, and Baltimore manager Buck Showalter had a lengthy conversation with the umpires after he found out both benches had been issued warnings. Then Ross struck out, setting the table for Holt's heroics.

The Red Sox got another fine day out of their bullpen with Junichi Tazawa (1.1 perfect innings) and Koji Uehara submitting strong outings. Uehara walked Wieters to start the ninth, but he struck out the next three hitters for his fourth save of the season.

The top pitching performance of the day, though, was that of Felix Doubront, who turned in what was his best start of the season -- by far.

The lefty threw 6.2 innings and allowed two earned runs on five hits, two walks and a hit batter. He struck out a season-high seven and punched out Orioles hitters for four of the first five outs.

Doubront tossed perfect innings in the second, third, fourth and fifth  after having some trouble getting out of the first.

Nick Markakis led off with a hit for the second straight game, a single. Two batters later, Adam Jones walked and Nelson Cruz followed up with a two-out single to score Markakis.

In the sixth, with two outs, Jones started a rally with a double off the Monster. Chris Davis was hit by a pitch and Cruz singled home Jones for his second RBI of the game.

The Red Sox got on the board early, as well. Dustin Pedroia walked, David Ortiz singled and Mike Napoli drove Pedroia home from third when his chopper was bobbled by third baseman Jonathan Schoop.

In the fourth inning, Ortiz launched his third homer of the season on a 3-2 95-mph fastball from Norris to give the Sox a 2-1 lead. 

AT A GLANCE

PLAYER OF THE GAME: Felix Doubront

The Sox starter had his best game of the season and showed just how dominant he can be when he retired 13 in a row from the first inning through the fifth.

HONORABLE MENTION: Brock Holt

For the second straight day, the new Red Sox call-up impressed. Not only did he knock in the game winning run, but he made a handful of running putouts on slow rollers. He almost made a spectacular throw from deep behind the third-base bag to get Nelson Cruz in the sixth inning and allow the Red Sox to maintain their 2-1 lead. Cruz was originally called out, but after Buck Showalter challenged, the ruling was reversed and Adam Jones scored from third.

GOAT OF THE GAME: Jonathan Schoop

Tough to heap this tag on Schoop's shoulders, but his error helped allow Dustin Pedroia to score from third in the first inning on a Mike Napoli chopper. Though the Orioles would have had to turn a double play to keep Pedroia's run off the scoreboard, the play wasn't impossible.

TURNING POINT

Holt's triple changed the game, obviously. Not only did it plate the winning run, it helped get the Red Sox some insurance when they asked Jonathan Herrera to lay down a safety squeeze. After that, Boston was able to hand the ball to Junichi Tazawa and Koji Uehara to end it.

STAT OF THE GAME

Koji Uehara hadn't walked a batter in 43.2 innings dating back to August of last year. He walked the first batter he faced, Matt Wieters, in the ninth inning on Saturday.

QUOTE TO NOTE

"My boy Rossy, he's always a little hyper." -- David Ortiz, describing what went down in the seventh inning when benches cleared after David Ross took issue with a few Bud Norris pitches that missed up and in.