BOSTON — Brock Holt was in the Red Sox’s lineup Sunday, as he had been the previous nine games and every other game but one since he joined the club April 18. Don’t expect that to change anytime soon, either.
Despite Will Middlebrooks rejoining the major league squad last week, the Red Sox are not approaching third base as a straight right-left platoon, manager John Farrell said before Sunday’s game. Holt will continue to be in the lineup wherever he fits, mostly at third base, shortstop and center field.
“I wouldn’t pin a ‘platoon’ on it, but finding at-bats for Brock is going to come from the left side of the infield, as well as center field,” Farrell said. “He’s earned those at-bats, so I guess the better way to describe it would be that from those three positions, he’s going to get nearly everyday at-bats.”
Whereas Middlebrooks bats right and Holt bats left, it’s not as simple as hitting Middlebrooks against lefties and Holt against righties. Middlebrooks is far more effective against lefties (.320 batting average) than against righties (.143) this season, but Holt is no slouch. He is batting above .300 against both righties and lefties.
Holt singled in his first at-bat Sunday, but failed to reach base in his next four plate appearances.
– Dustin Pedroia appears to have found his stride. With two hits — one a home run — two RBIs and three runs Sunday, Pedroia is now 16 for his last 47 (.340) and has increased his batting average to .281. Farrell pointed to better bat speed and freedom with the second baseman’s swing.
– Christian Vazquez reached base all four times he came to the plate Sunday, recording two singles and two walks. He wasn’t quite as hot as Stephen Drew, who drove in four runs for the Yankees, or Brett Gardner, who singled, doubled, walked and homered in his first four at-bats, with three RBIs.
– By giving up a home run to Gardner to open the sixth inning, left-handed reliever Craig Breslow has now surrendered a home run to the first batter he has faced in the last two games. Mark Teixeira took Breslow deep immediately after Breslow came into the game from the bullpen in the fifth inning Saturday.
– Steven Wright was called up from Pawtucket for long-relief help in the event Clay Buchholz required an early exit. Farrell complimented Wright’s “strike-throwing ability,” in what might have been a veiled jab at several Red Sox starters who have struggles with their command lately.
– Allen Craig’s balky ankle has the outfielder “day-to-day,” Farrell said. The team is hopeful Craig will play next week in St. Louis.