Like he belongs: Holt knocks game-winning RBI

Like he belongs: Holt knocks game-winning RBI
April 19, 2014, 6:30 pm
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BOSTON -- It was nothing but some good-natured razzing. David Ross -- a 37-year-old, 13-year veteran -- couldn't help himself.

When Brock Holt -- a 25-year-old with 151 major-league plate appearances -- arrived in Boston on Friday afternoon, Ross had a message for him: "Do something."

Well, how's this? In two games since his re-call, Holt is 3-for-7 with two RBI and a handful of good defensive plays at third base. On Saturday, Holt's triple in the seventh inning broke a 2-2 tie and gave the Red Sox the game-winning run when Mike Carp scored all the way from first.

Holt admitted that since he arrived to Fenway from Pawtucket a little bit late on Friday afternoon after fighting rush-hour traffic, his 24 hours with the Red Sox have been about as good as one could possibly expect.

"I probably could have gone 5-for-5 each day with five homers but that’s not going to happen," Holt said with a smile. "I’m not going to do that. But I’m just happy to be here and help any way that I can."
The Red Sox are happy to have him. "Every time he comes up," David Ortiz said, "he does something to make a difference."

The team knew Holt had been hitting well in Pawtucket -- he slashed .380/.446/.600 in 12 minor-league games -- and they hoped he could continue his hot streak with the big-league club.

"Prior to the recall, he had been swinging the bat extremely well in Pawtucket," manager John Farrell said. "He was able to get on a little bit of a roll. What we've seen, and I know it's just two games, but he's shown a little bit more authority with some ability to impact the baseball, particularly to the pull side."

Holt got some time playing third base for the Red Sox last season and hit .203 in 26 games. Farrell said Holt's approach at the plate has changed since then.

"Last year there was an approach that was more inside-out," Farrell explained. "He does have that extra-base ability. He was doing it in Pawtucket and he's continued it here."

Holt's triple was on a first-pitch fastball that came while the Fenway crowd was still buzzing following a bench-clearing confrontation that kicked off after Bud Norris buzzed David Ross with three fastballs up and around Ross' head.

"I love Brock," Ross said. "We've always had a lot of confidence in Brock. At the end of spring training when he was competing for a job and playing pretty well in the spring and went down and played well and just waited for his opportunity. That's what good young guys do.

"He's come through for us and it's huge. He's a good guy in the clubhouse, a fun guy to be around, and you know I was talking a little trash to him before the game today and yesterday: "Do something." He did so good for him . . . I'll say it again tomorrow."

Holt had been called up earlier this season. It was for just one game and he didn't play. He was sent back to Pawtucket soon thereafter when the team signed Ryan Roberts to play in a platoon role with Jonathan Herrera at third base while Will Middlebrooks was on the disabled list with a strained calf.

At the time, he took his quick demotion in stride, joking on Twitter that at least his newly-bought groceries wouldn't go to waste while he was with the big-league club.

But Holt is clearly the kind of player the Red Sox have no problem with calling up and inserting into the lineup. "He wasn't going to come up to sit for us," Farrell said.

He handles himself like a professional, he's well liked in the clubhouse. Most importantly, he's been ready when called upon.

"Down in Triple A you’re always just a phone call away," Holt said. "Someone could get hurt just like that. You got to be ready when you’re down there. My time -- phone call came the other day. Now I’m here."