Holt, Lester help Red Sox double up Twins, 2-1


Is there anything Brock Holt can’t do? The 26-year old rookie leadoff hitter continued to drag the 2014 Boston Red Sox along for the ride, posting two hits (including a double) and scoring both of Boston’s runs, one on a Xander Bogaerts sac fly and the other on a Dustin Pedroia two-bagger, as the the BoSox held on for a 2-1 win over the visiting Minnesota Twins Tuesday night at Fenway Park.

Holt also made his first career start in center field with Jackie Bradley sitting against Phil Hughes and Grazy Sizemore designated for assignment earlier in the day. Holt rewarded manager John Farrell’s faith by barreling into Jonny Gomes’ postage stamp-sized lawn in left field and snaring a line drive.

But we never doubted him, right?

On Tuesday afternoon, we posted a tweet asking for an over/under of 2.5 runs against Twins starter Phil Hughes (7-3), who came into the game with a 3.17 ERA. If you took the under, you were right, but would you have expected a Red Sox win with that total?

The Twins’ anemic offense is mostly to blame for the loss, but Red Sox pitchers need to be credited after a fine performance. Jon Lester (8-7) went 6 and 1/3 with six strikeouts to earn his eighth win, while Burke Badenhop, Craig Breslow, Junichi Tazawa (striking out the side in the eighth) and Edward Mujica (earning the save in Koji Uehara’s absence) combined to secure the victory. In sum, the Twins managed just four hits and struck out eleven times on the night.

Hughes went the distance for the Twins, scattering eight hits and striking out six.

Dustin Pedroia had two hits for the Red Sox.

Boston looks to sweep the three-game set as John Lackey (8-4, 3.26) starts Wednesday afternoon against Kyle Gibson (6-5, 3.55).

Notes: Shane Victorino and Will Middlebrooks sandwiched Mookie Betts in the lienup for Triple-A Pawtucket tonight at Rochester.

With the Sizemore release, Victorino clearly will have an outfield spot waiting for him upon his return. The same cannot be said for Middlebrooks and his customary position at third base. The minor league game itself was rained out.