Brock Holt gives the people what they want.
Holt grew up in Stephenville, Texas, so it was no surprise that he had a strong cheering contingent on hand when the Boston Red Sox visited Houston — about a four-hour drive — for a three-game set this weekend.
It was worth the trip.
Holt abused the Astros’ pitching staff, going a combined 10-for-15 with three extra-base hits and four runs scored in the series and capping it with his first career five-hit game in Sunday’s finale — an 11-0 Red Sox rout.
The utility man made sure Boston never trailed in the contest, taking Houston starter Brad Peacock deep on the sixth pitch of the game (Peacock faced just four more batters before being yanked). Holt’s mother was among those in attendance at Minute Maid Park, and her son’s leadoff bomb, a prodigious shot into the second deck, brought a tear to her eye.
“You don’t expect to have weekends like this,” Holt said, via MLB.com. “For all the family and friends to be in to see it was special.”
Take a peek below at some other news and notes from Sunday’s matchup.
— Though he started the game in right field — and came up with a nifty diving catch — Holt shifted over to second base for the final two innings. For those of you scoring at home, the 26-year-old now has seen time at every fielding position other than pitcher and catcher this season.
— The Red Sox scored a season-high 11 runs on 16 hits in the game. David Ortiz was the only Boston starter not to record a hit, though he did reach base on a walk in the first inning.
— Clay Buchholz turned in far and away his best start of the season, pitching a complete game and allowing just three baserunners. Seven of the right-hander’s nine innings of work were of the 1-2-3 variety, including each of the last five. His 12 strikeouts were a career high, and he did not walk a batter for the third time in four starts.
“(Sunday) was reminiscent of the first half of last year before he went on the disabled list,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said of Buchholz’s start. “Very much in control and could go to any one of four pitches at any time in the count.”
— On the Astros’ side of things, pitching was a bit more of an issue. Peacock lasted 1/3 of an inning, and four different relievers allowed multiple runs. The only Houston pitcher not charged with a run was Jose Veras, though he walked one in in the seventh.
— With the win, the Red Sox enter the All-Star break as winners of four of their last five games.