Holt, Nava, Craig show Red Sox's strength of depth
NEW YORK -- It might have seemed bold for Red Sox manager John Farrell to rest his entire starting outfield for Saturday's game against the Yankees until you remembered who was available off the bench.
Each member of the trio that played on Saturday -- Daniel Nava in left, Brock Holt in center and Allen Craig in right -- could start for many other teams. And in this 8-4 victory over the Yankees, they all made key contributions.
Their performances couldn't have been any more timely with the Red Sox coming off a 19-inning win on Friday followed by a 1:05 p.m. ET first pitch on Saturday.
Holt subbed for Mookie Betts in the leadoff spot and went 4-for-5 and gave the Red Sox some breathing room with a three-run double in the top of the eighth.
Holt had just two at-bats in the first four games of the season, but heated right back up to the form he displayed much of last year.
"I'm probably not going to do that every time I go in there, but it's nice to get off on a good foot, a good start," said Holt. "Getting the win, that's the biggest thing."
Nava, Boston's primary starter in left field during the World Series-championship season of 2013, contributed with two RBI hits in his first two at-bats to give the Red Sox the 2-1 lead they clung to until breaking it open in the seventh and eighth.
And on a day the Red Sox could give Hanley Ramirez some invaluable rest, Nava also made several nice plays in left field.
"We're trying to be ready when our chance comes," said Nava. "I think all three of us know that we can't play [every day], and that's something that keeps us going. The three of us kind of look at it as an opportunity, and to just enjoy the opportunity that we have when we get in there and have some fun with it, because we know we have a good team and what's most important is that we win. Last year was a big indicator that losing is not a lot of fun, so we'll do whatever it takes to win."
Though Craig went 0-for-4, he made a diving grab going into the corner in right to take extra bases away from John Ryan Murphy in the fifth inning.
Look for Ramirez, Betts and Shane Victorino to be back in there on Sunday night. But the subs will be heard from again.
"Again, it speaks to the depth of the roster -- of the trust that we have in everyone," said Farrell. "Allen Craig makes a great catch down the right-field corner on a ball that's fading away from him. He gets the big two-out walk to get things going in the fourth. Nava is swinging the bat extremely well, and Holt, for sitting for five or six days, doesn't look like he's missed any time at all. Key contributions by all three."