Holt takes to left right away in win over Tigers

Holt takes to left right away in win over Tigers

DETROIT -- The last time Brock Holt played the outfield, he was filling in on a team of buddies during an intramural slow-pitch softball game while attending Navarro (Texas) College.

His position in that game? Right-center.

The lights were a little brighter Sunday night, when he filled in in left field for the Red Sox and played a major role in their 5-3 win over the Tigers.

"It was different out there," Holt, a versatile infielder, said after the game. "Definitely a different view than I'm used to."

Whoever said everything's bigger in Texas must not have seen the outfield Holt was tasked with patrolling Sunday night at Comerica Park. It made no difference, however, when Holt chased down a fly ball off Ian Kinsler's bat in the third inning that seemed destined for extra bases.

"I ran as fast as I could, stuck my glove out, and it went in," Holt said of the catch that left-field Gold Glove Award winners would likely be happy to have made.

"I'm just glad I held onto it."

Before the game, Red Sox manager John Farrell seemed confident using Holt in left field because of the very athleticism he displayed on the third-inning catch.

Holt also got it done with his bat, knocking four hits, including a single that began Boston's ninth-inning rally that ended with him scoring on David Ortiz's three-run homer. It was Holt's second four-hit game of the season.

"He's a ballplayer, man," Mike Napoli said. "He's in a tough situation, but he's doing a good job."

Twice, Holt made shrewd decisions to hold off on trying to catch a runner going first-to-third on a base hit. Instead, he kept the runner on first from advancing, allowing the double-play possibility to stay alive.

"[Red Sox outfield instructor Arnie Beyeler] told me before the game, 'If you think you can throw him out at third, chances are you can't,'" Holt said.

Holt's performance drew praise from Boston's center fielder, Jackie Bradley Jr. Farrell was more comfortable putting Holt in the outfield because he'd have Bradley's speed flanking him. But Holt didn't need any help from Bradley on Sunday.

"He did it on both sides of the ball," Bradley said. "He made it look like it wasn't his first time playing outfield."

In a way, it wasn't. He had all the experience there of a college intramural athlete.

Where might Holt flash his quickness, of feet and glove, in the field next?

"I think left field again tomorrow," he said, like there was no other option.

Matt Slovin is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.