BOSTON–Red Sox rookie Brock Holt borrowed Fred Lynn’s glove, Dave Roberts’s cleats, and Wade Boggs’s bat (along with his number) to spark a victory over the Twins Tuesday night at Fenway Park.
Holt scored a run after a Dustin Pedroia double in the first. The centerfielder ended Minnesota’s third with a spectacular diving catch. He doubled in the bottom of the inning before stealing third. Xander Bogearts then drove in Holt on a sacrifice fly.
The 26-year-old’s debut in center supplied an answer to the questions the franchise has had at the position and gave the Fenway faithful a new favorite. Holt’s versatility–shifting without a hitch from infield to outfield–production, and hustle prompted cheers by the 36,895 in attendance whenever he approached the plate or heard his name called on the public address system.
The rookie’s two runs proved all the offense the Red Sox would need to defeat the Twins behind a strong starting performance by Jon Lester. After the Twins stretched him to 33 pitches in the first inning, Lester regained control. As his pitch count escalated through the 90s in the sixth, the Sox ace showed signs of fatigue. Brian Dozier advanced Danny Santana to third after the Twins shortstop had doubled off Lester. Joe Mauer then doubled Santana home to produce the single Twins run of the night.
John Farrell pulled Lester 109 pitches into the contest. The starter allowed one earned run on four hits and one walk over 6.1 innings to improve to 8-7. He struck out six, and left to a standing ovation.
The relievers proved as worthy as the starter. Junichi Tazawa struck out Santana, Dozier, and Mauer in succession in the eighth, efficiently throwing twelve strikes on fifteen pitches. Edward Mujica closed out the contest in similar fashion, striking out two before inducing an Oswaldo Arcia fly ball to left to end the game.
Phil Hughes (7-3) pitched well for Minnesota, striking out six and allowing two runs on eight hits in a complete game loss. As in Monday’s 1-0 loss, Twins bats failed to connect and failed the pitching staff. The Twins dropped to 32-37 and Boston improved to 33-38. The Sox go for the three-game sweep on Wednesday as John Lackey (8-4) faces Twins righthander Kyle Gibson at 1:35 Eastern.