Brock Holt started at third base for the second consecutive game Sunday night against the Yankees as Will Middlebrooks remained on the bench against a righthanded starter. But Red Sox manager John Farrell said it was not necessarily a platoon.
Holt, who had a hit and scored two runs in an 8-7 loss against the Yankees, has started at seven positions this season but will focus on third base, shortstop, and center field now that the Red Sox have obtained corner outfielders Yoenis Cespedes and Allen Craig.
“Finding at-bats for Brock is going to come from the left side of the infield as well as center field. He’s earned those at-bats,” Farrell said before the game.
“The better way to describe it as from those three positions, he’s going to get nearly every-day at-bats.”
Holt was primarily a second baseman and shortstop in the minor leagues. He started playing third base in spring training and the outfield in June. Holt has been the team’s primary leadoff hitter this season. He entered the game hitting .303 with a .352 on-base percentage.
“I’m pretty comfortable at third base now,” Holt said. “I don’t think my role has changed much. I’ll play wherever they want me to play.”
Craig sits out
Craig, who was acquired from the Cardinals Thursday, was out of the lineup for the second consecutive game with a sore left foot. He was injured Friday while running the bases.
“Still day-to-day. He still feels the soreness,” Farrell said. “We’re hopeful he’s back in the lineup when we get to St. Louis.”
The Sox open a three-game series in St. Louis Tuesday night.
Craig ended last season with a sprained left foot, also the result of a base-running mishap.
“I can’t say it’s the same exact injury. That’s what we’re working through right now,” Farrell said.
Wright stops by
Righthander Steven Wright, the knuckleballer who appeared in four games for the Red Sox last season, was called up from Triple A Pawtucket for the game but was not used.
Righthander Alex Wilson, who threw 39 pitches over 2⅓ innings Saturday, was optioned.
After starting the season on the disabled list recovering from offseason hernia surgery, Wright was 5-2 with a 2.80 earned run average in 11 starts for the PawSox.
“We needed the length; we needed another fresh arm. He’s been throwing a lot of strikes,” Farrell said.
After the game, Wright was optioned and the Red Sox will recall another reliever for Tuesday’s game in St. Louis.
Rookie righthander Allen Webster had to be taken out in the third inning Saturday after walking five batters.
In two starts this season, Webster has walked 11 over eight innings.
But Farrell thinks it’s an adjustment that can be made quickly.
“He has a tendency to lead with his body a little bit more and it kind of spiraled in a way yesterday with him,” Farrell said. “As that inning was unfolding he started to lead more and more with his body and his arm had an inability to catch up consistently to get his release point out front.”
Farrell and pitching coach Juan Nieves spoke during the game about how to address the problem with Webster, who will remain in the rotation.
“One thing that we have to be clear with Allen is that he’s not as far away as he might seem coming out of that outing,” Farrell said.
“The linescore doesn’t lie. He’s a small adjustment away from being in the strike zone more consistently.”
Texas claims Carp
First baseman-outfielder Mike Carp, who was designated for assignment Friday, was claimed off waivers by the Rangers.
Carp was a valuable bench player last season but this year hit only .198 for the Red Sox with nine RBIs in 42 games.
He fell out of the team’s plans after being on the disabled list from June 1 to July 7 with a broken bone in his right foot.
Carp could see plenty of action at first base for Texas, which has been using catcher J.P. Arencibia at the position.
Carp, frustrated at his lack of playing time, asked the Red Sox for a trade last month.
Catcher David Ross, who went on the disabled list Saturday with plantar fasciitis, may need to spend only the minimum 15 days off the roster.
Because he tore a tendon in his foot while running to first base, Ross should heal more quickly that he would have otherwise and be able to run with less discomfort.
“Based on feedback from the training staff [and] the way David feels, which is improved, we expect at the two-week period he’ll be back to us,” Farrell said.
Christian Vazquez will be the primary catcher with Ross out. Farrell doesn’t envision using new backup Dan Butler, who was promoted Saturday, until the series against the Angels that starts Friday.
Right fielder Shane Victorino traveled to California Sunday and has an appointment with Dr. Robert Watkins on Monday at his clinic in Marina Del Ray.
Victorino is on the disabled list with a back injury that could require surgery.
David Ortiz has 18 RBIs in his last 12 games. He is third in the American League with 82 on the season . . . Jackie Bradley Jr. was 0 for 4 and is now hitless in his last 24 at-bats with 12 strikeouts . . . The Red Sox are 19-32 in AL East games . . . The Red Sox sold out all six games on their homestand, averaging 37,929 per game . . . Lefthander Eduardo Rodriguez, the prospect obtained from the Orioles in exchange for Andrew Miller on Thursday, started for Double A Portland against Trenton. He allowed one run on two hits over 5⅓ innings and struck out 10 in a 4-1 victory against Trenton. Rodriguez had a 4.79 ERA in 16 starts with Bowie before he was traded . . . Lefthander Henry Owens is scheduled to make his Triple A debut Monday night when Pawtucket hosts Columbus at 7:05 p.m. Owens was 14-4 with a 2.60 ERA in 20 starts for Portland . . . With two interleague series on the next road trip, the starting pitchers have been taking batting practice and running the bases. Brandon Workman, who is lined up start at St. Louis and Cincinnati, was diligently working on his secondary leads before the game. “Pretty agile, right?” he said. Asked when he last ran the bases, Workman believes it was 2007.