A 45-minute rain delay couldn’t dampen Brock Holt’s hot streak.
Holt went 2-for-4 with a triple and a walk and scored three times Thursday night as his Boston Red Sox took down the Atlanta Braves 5-2 at Turner Field.
GAME IN A WORD
Holt, Boston’s utility man extraordinaire, terrorized the Braves throughout the teams’ four-game home-and-home series, collecting nine hits while splitting time between right field and second base.
IT WAS OVER WHEN …
Clay Buchholz retired the side in the seventh to complete one of his stronger outings of the season. The Red Sox left-hander allowed two runs on six hits, walking one and striking out three.
ON THE BUMP
— A leadoff double by Jace Peterson in the first made Buchholz’s life difficult right off the bat, but the right-hander quickly settled down. Buchholz proceeded to retire nine consecutive batters before Cameron Maybin broke the streak with a leadoff single in the fourth, and he was humming right along until the bottom of the sixth.
The Braves put three men on base with two outs in that frame (single, walk, infield single), and two came in to score when Buchholz knocked down an A.J. Pierzynski line drive but skied his flip to first well over David Ortiz’s head.
Buchholz threw 48 pitches over the first five innings. He needed 25 to get through the sixth. He worked a scoreless seventh, however, before turning the ball over to Tommy Layne.
— Layne walked the leadoff man in the eighth but retired the next three batters.
— Closer Koji Uehara worked a perfect ninth to lock down the win for the Red Sox.
IN THE BATTER’S BOX
— Boston’s bats initially looked helpless against Atlanta starter Shelby Miller, who retired the first nine men he faced and needed just 38 pitches to do so.
The Red Sox finally broke through in the fourth when Brock Holt laced a leadoff triple off the wall in dead center. The next three batters all failed to get the ball out of the infield, but Ortiz’s high-bouncing grounder was enough to score Holt and give Boston a 1-0 lead.
— The Red Sox fell victim to National League strategy in the fifth, as the Braves elected to intentionally walk No. 8 hitter Sandy Leon to get to Buchholz with a man on second and two outs. The Sox hurler put forth a strong effort, seeing 10 pitches in the at-bat, but Miller ultimately blew a shoulder-high fastball by him to end the inning.
— A blunder by Braves third baseman Juan Uribe helped the Red Sox tack on three more runs in the sixth. After Holt singled to lead off the frame, Uribe had a Mookie Betts pop-up bounce off his glove in foul territory. Betts capitalized on his second chance with a single to left, and Ortiz followed with a base hit of his own to load the bases with nobody out.
Hanley Ramirez proceeded to ground into a double play, but his grounder scored Holt from third, and Xander Bogaerts then smacked a single into right field to drive in Betts and stretch Boston’s lead to 3-0. Bogaerts now has driven in a run in six of his last eight games.
Alejandro De Aza, who went 2-for-4 in the win, followed by doubling down the right field line, scoring Bogaerts from first and chasing Miller from the ballgame.
— Facing reliever David Aardsma in the seventh, Holt worked a two-out walk and came all the way around to score on a Betts double. Betts also enjoyed a strong series, going 9-for-16 with two doubles and a triple, driving in three runs and also scoring three.
— Travis Shaw started at third base for Boston following Pablo Sandoval’s Instagram-induced benching. The newly called-up 25-year-old failed to reach base in four plate appearances, but he did come up with one web gem at the hot corner.
TWEET OF THE GAME
Yes, he did.
Dustin Pedroia said yesterday that Brock Holt is capable of taking over a game. For the second time in three days, he's done that.—
Jason Mastrodonato (@JMastrodonato) June 19, 2015
The Sox head to Kansas City to begin a three-game series with the defending American League pennant-winning Royals on Friday.
Thumbnail photo via Brett Davis/USA TODAY Sports Images
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