Brock Holt’s tiebreaking triple boosts Red Sox over Orioles
Two days into his second call-up of the season, Brock Holt was the center of attention in Boston’s clubhouse.
Holt hit a tiebreaking triple in the seventh inning and scored on Jonathan Herrera’s suicide squeeze, lifting the Red Sox over the Baltimore Orioles 4-2 on Saturday.
After the game, Holt did interviews in front of a large-screen TV in the middle of the locker room, a spot usually reserved for the game’s star or starting pitcher.
”It’s fun,” Holt said.
On Friday, Holt went 2 for 4 and drove in a run during the series-opening loss to Baltimore.
”You want to go out and play well anytime you’re out there,” he said. ”I’ve got these first two under my belt and had some success, hopefully I can continue to keep going out there.”
David Ortiz had a solo homer and two hits for the World Series champion Red Sox, who have won three of four.
But it was Holt’s hit that sparked the victory.
”He had been swinging the bat very well in Pawtucket. He was able to get on a little bit of roll,” Boston manager John Farrell said. ”What we’ve seen – I know it’s only two games – is a little bit more authority, particularly on the pull side (of the plate).”
Holt came up for a day from Triple-A earlier this month, but didn’t get into a game when regular third baseman Will Middlebrooks was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right calf.
Nelson Cruz had a pair of run-scoring singles for the Orioles, who had a three-game winning streak halted.
Junichi Tazawa (1-0) pitched 1 1-3 hitless innings of relief. Koji Uehara struck out three after a leadoff walk for his fourth save.
The benches emptied briefly in the seventh after Bud Norris (0-2) threw high and tight to David Ross, who was trying to sacrifice. Ross yelled something, but Orioles catcher Matt Wieters stepped in between and both sides retreated to the dugouts.
”It’s emotional. Ross is a good player – a good catcher and a pro,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. ”But I know Matt. He’s not going to allow somebody to yell at his pitcher like that – especially when he doesn’t have any reason to.”
Norris didn’t know why Ross was so upset, especially when he was giving up an at-bat to move a runner.
”I don’t really understand where it’s coming from, and his point of view,” Norris said. ”I’m trying to throw the ball over the plate and take the out because if you’re giving it to me in a sac bunt situation, I want the out every time.”
Baltimore benefited from a challenge that overturned a call at first on what would have been Cruz’s inning-ending grounder in the sixth.
Holt tripled into the right-center field gap in the seventh after Mike Carp drew a leadoff walk from Norris. Herrara then dropped down a bunt fouling off on his first attempt.
Boston starter Felix Doubront retired 13 consecutive batters after giving up a run in the first before Nick Markakis opened the sixth with a single, but was erased when Delmon Young bounced into double play.
The Orioles then got runners on first and third when Cruz hit a grounder to deep third. Holt made a throw from near the foul line. Cruz was called out by first base umpire Ted Barrett. Showalter challenged his first call of the season and it was overturned after a 49-second wait.
Ortiz’s homer hooked around the Pesky Pole and gave the Red Sox a 2-1 lead in the fourth.
Doubront pitched 6 2-3 innings, allowing two runs on five hits, striking out seven and walking two.
Cruz’s RBI single made it 1-0 in the first.
Boston tied it in the bottom half when third baseman Jonathan Schoop misplayed a probable inning-ending, double-play grounder.
The Orioles, who set a major league record for fewest errors last season (54) and errorless games (119), have committed just four this season – all of them by a third baseman filling in for Gold Glove winner Manny Machado, who is recovering from offseason left knee surgery.
NOTES: Red Sox rookie SS Xander Bogaerts got the day off. ”He’s played in every game and after some long games and travel, he’s being rested – and it gives us a chance to get another left-handed bat in there,” Farrell said. Switch-hitting Herrera started at short. … Boston OF Shane Victorino, on the 15-day since March 30 with a strained right hamstring, went 0 for 3 in his first rehab game at Triple-A Pawtucket on Saturday. The plan is for him play Monday and Tuesday before being reevaluated. … Showalter said LHP Zach Britton was sick Friday night and not with the team, but he was back Saturday. … Machado played his first extended spring training game in Sarasota, Fla. Showalter said he ”played five innings and had four at-bats with no problems.” … Middlebrooks worked out on the field before the game.