Holt hits for cycle as Red Sox snap skid
BOSTON -- For the first time since June 7, the Red Sox enjoyed the simple pleasure of postgame handshakes. They also witnessed a memorable performance by Brock Holt, who paced the 9-4 victory over the Braves with the first cycle by a Boston batter since John Valentin on June 6, 1996.
The monster performance by Holt helped the Red Sox snap a seven-game losing streak.
After doubling in the first, hitting a single in the fifth and clubbing a homer to the opposite field in left in the seventh, Holt completed the cycle with a triple to center in the eighth. Alex Rios was the last player to finish the cycle with a triple, doing so for the Rangers against the Astros on Sept. 23, 2013. The last Red Sox player to complete the cycle with a triple was Fred Lynn on May 13, 1980.
"Obviously I knew I needed a triple," said Holt. "I didn't expect to hit one, but as soon as barrel hit ball I was like, 'Oh my God, oh my God, oh my God.' Because once it gets in the triangle anything is possible. So I was just running on all my horses and it worked out."
Lefty Wade Miley, who engaged in a public spat with manager John Farrell in his last start, bounced back nicely by firing 6 1/3 strong innings for the win.
Braves righty Julio Teheran didn't fare nearly as well, allowing six runs and a career-high 13 hits over 6 1/3 innings. Boston's left-handed hitters finished 6-for-15 against him.
"[Lefties] still got to him last year a little bit, but it wasn't at the pace they're doing right now," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "Whether it's pitch selection or command. Looking at the video through the course on the Jumbotron, it's balls right down the middle. It's balls down the middle of the plate that we need to locate."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Miley's mastery: Miley threw a season-high 111 pitches before Farrell came to get him in this one. The lefty allowed five hits and two runs while tying a season high with eight strikeouts. When Miley walked off the mound, he received a nice ovation from the Fenway faithful. More >
"I kind of put all that stuff behind me from the last start," said Miley. "I just wanted to go out and try to give the team a chance to win. Like I said, we were able to score some runs and keep them at bay."
Julio collapses late: Teheran's season-long road woes continued in Boston. He limited the early damage to two runs by inducing a bases-loaded double play and fanning Mike Napoli to escape a first-inning jam. But eventually he succumbed to the Red Sox after allowing four runs and seven hits over his final 1 1/3 innings. Teheran is 1-3 with a 7.17 ERA in eight road starts this season. More >
"Just one bad inning [in the first]. Didn't make a couple of pitches, then they got me," Teheran said. "Other than that, I set it down for a couple of innings. And then in the sixth, I got in a bit of trouble again. I think that I made a couple pitches right there, a couple of mistakes. The guys were hitting it pretty good."
Holt, Mookie jump-start the offense: Without Dustin Pedroia and Hanley Ramirez (stiff back), the Red Sox needed others to step up, and they did. Every player in the starting nine recorded at least one hit, including the four by Holt. Mookie Betts went 3-for-5, including a double and a triple. Pablo Sandoval, Xander Bogaerts, Napoli and Alejandro De Aza all chipped in with two hits.
"I never expected to hit a ball over a Monster. That one was pretty cool, too. I hit it good, and I knew Jonny Gomes knows how to play the Monster pretty well. I thought it was going to come off the Monster so I put my head down, I was running as hard as I could. I got to second base, got to second and heard cheers. I was looking around, 'Where's the ball? Where's the ball?' I was still sprinting, so when I crossed home plate, Mookie was laughing pretty good at me." -- Holt, on his homer.
"Just a bump. It's nothing huge. He'll be all right. He's a talented guy, he works hard, too. I don't think anybody is worried about this being who he is. We know it's not." -- Braves third baseman Chris Johnson, on Teheran
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The Red Sox are 19-8 when they score first, and 9-30 when they don't.
Braves: Left-hander Alex Wood (4-4, 3.56 ERA) takes the mound at 7:10 p.m. ET on Wednesday, as Atlanta returns home to wrap up the second half of this four-game series at Turner Field. Wood was hit in the head with a fly ball during batting practice on Tuesday, but the Braves' training staff examined him and cleared him to make his scheduled start. He has allowed two runs in 3 2/3 relief innings vs. the Red Sox, but this will mark his first career start against the club.
Red Sox: Righty Joe Kelly (2-4, 5.45 ERA) draws the start on Wednesday, as the series shifts to Turner Field. Kelly is 1-0 with a 1.46 ERA in two career starts against the Braves. The Red Sox will be without the designated hitter for the first time since April 9.