Go-ahead triple by Holt lifts Red Sox vs. O's
After benches clear earlier in seventh, third baseman delivers key hit
BOSTON -- The O's tied the game in the sixth when a call was overturned, but it was a temporary setback for the Red Sox on their way to a 4-2 win over Baltimore on Saturday afternoon at Fenway Park.
The Sox broke through against O's starter Bud Norris in the seventh when Mike Carp led off with a walk and later scored the go-ahead run on a triple to right-center by Brock Holt, ending Norris' outing. Evan Meek entered to face Jonathan Herrera, who scored Holt with a bunt.
"We're looking to just move a runner 90 feet," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "A timely triple to say the least by Brock. He's come up, he's put together quality at-bats, and a big one-out RBI triple in that situation.
"As we've seen with Jonathan -- very good bat handler, good bat control. And lays down, once again, a very good bunt."
Holt was called up from Triple-A Pawtucket on Friday. He's trying to make the most of his opportunities.
"Absolutely," he said. "You want to go out and play well any time you're out there. So to get these first two ones under my belt and have a little bit of success, hopefully just keep carrying it over game by game."
Holt's triple came after the benches cleared following a pitch from Norris to David Ross that the Red Sox catcher objected to. Squared around as if to bunt, Ross -- who suffered two concussions last season -- thought Norris' 90-mph fastball was a little too high and tight.
"Just a couple pulled balls at my head, and it kind of rattled me a little bit," Ross said. "Probably said some things I shouldn't have said. But it's all good. Baseball stuff."
"There were three pitches that I think got away from Norris, that ended up close to the head," Farrell said. "I think that's where the location of pitches that close up and in is where it might draw some reaction. Obviously it did. Not surprised that we're gonna support and have one another's back on the field. Nothing really escalated from it, but just a competitive moment."
With two outs, runners on the corners and the Sox leading 2-1 in the top of the sixth, Nelson Cruz hit a sharp liner to third baseman Holt, who threw to Mike Napoli at first. First-base umpire Ted Barrett called Cruz out, which ended the inning. But Orioles manager Buck Showalter sprinted from the third-base dugout and challenged the call. After a replay that took 49 seconds, the call was overturned, Cruz was safe and Adam Jones had scored the tying run.
Red Sox left-hander Felix Doubront survived a shaky first inning to go 6 2/3 innings, giving up two runs on five hits and two walks with seven strikeouts.
Doubront needed 29 pitches to get through the first inning. He recorded all three outs on strikeouts but gave up a run -- his first in the first inning in four starts this season. Nick Markakis led off with a single, stole second and scored on single to center by Cruz.
The Sox tied the game in the bottom of the first when Dustin Pedroia walked with one out, went to third on David Ortiz's single to left and scored on an error by third baseman Jonathan Schoop on Napoli's ground ball.
Doubront recovered from his rough opening frame. Including a strikeout of Matt Wieters to end the first, Doubront retired 13 in a row, five on strikeouts. After 29 pitches in the first, he needed just 38 pitches over the next four innings.
"I don't really know what happened [in the first]," Doubront said. "I think I overthrew a couple balls and I was thinking too much, and I calmed down and I was trying to throw strikes and get quick innings, and I did.
"Just throw down in the zone [after the first], throw more breaking balls, just throw strikes. And they swing. They're a team, if you're throwing a strike, they're going to swing. I went with that, just throwing my cutters down in the zone. Tried to get quick outs and that worked."
Junichi Tazawa, who relieved Doubront, earned the win, his first of the season. He went 1 1/3 perfect innings. Tazawa has yet to give up a run in 8 2/3 innings over nine appearances this season.
Koji Uehara earned his fourth save with a scoreless ninth. Uncharacteristically, though, he walked the leadoff batter, the first walk he has allowed since Aug. 3, a span of 41 games and 43 2/3 innings, including regular season and postseason.
"Taz and Koji continue to do what they've done for quite a long time," said Farrell. "That's come out and attack the strike zone, and two guys we lean heavily on late in the game. Just a well-pitched game all the way around."
Norris matched Doubront, holding the Red Sox in check until Ortiz led off the fourth with his third home run of the season, which gave Boston a one-run lead.
Norris went 6 1/3 innings, giving up four runs on five hits and two walks with seven strikeouts. He took the loss, falling to 0-2 with a 4.42 ERA.