"Usually he's involved in a play where it's going to be meaningful," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "And he demonstrated in both ways today. He's a smart player all the way around. An exceptional baserunner, a very good defender and he's had the ability to have the knack for a timely hit."
Boston was down, 4-0, after a half-inning, and chipped away swiftly. Holt came up in the bottom of the third with his team down a run and promptly drilled a two-run homer that landed on the top of the bullpen wall in right-center, and then rolled into the 'pen, where teammate Robbie Ross Jr. scooped it up.
Of the 10 home runs Holt has hit since 2014, five have given the Red Sox the lead.
"On the home run, I'm just trying to get a good pitch and I fortunately got one up and bounced it over," said Holt.
In the top of the fourth, the Rangers tried to offset the momentum of Holt's home run. But they hit it to the wrong guy. With Shin-Soo Choo on second and two outs, Ian Desmond stung a hit into left. Choo raced around third and Holt came up throwing. His throw was in time, and catcher Sandy Leon applied the tag, setting off a roar from the Fenway crowd.
"With two outs, I knew he would be going," said Holt. "He didn't hit it hard. I just tried to get to it as fast as I could and made a good throw. Sandy made a better tag for me."
Holt is confident that the more he plays, the better he will feel in his recovery. And by now, the Red Sox are pretty sure that the more he plays, the more they will win.
"I'm still working through some stuff," said Holt. "I felt good in my rehab games. The next step was coming here and I felt confident that the way I was feeling, I would be able to contribute. It's worked out."