BALTIMORE — Brock Holt drew his first start of the season at first base for Boston and was tested early, picking a one-hop throw across the diamond from Rafael Devers for the last out of the first inning.
It was a scheduled day off for Mitch Moreland, who has cooled somewhat after a blistering stretch that included a split of a four-game series against the Astros. Moreland is just 5-for-26 over his last eight games, including a lone double.
“He’s been chasing a little bit,” Cora said. “Today is a good day for him. Brock is swinging the bat well.”
Holt singled and walked twice Tuesday night in a 6-4 win, and his versatility adds significant value to the Red Sox roster. He’s made previous appearances at second base, shortstop, left field and right field through 38 games with Boston this season.
“Sometimes I get a little bit scared because (Moreland) wants to work and work and work,” Cora said. “Now that he’s playing every day we have to be careful with that.”
Thornburg continues rehab
Tyler Thornburg (right shoulder) and the rest of the Red Sox went their separate ways Wednesday night, with Boston’s traveling party bound for Seattle and the right-handed reliever off to continue his rehab assignment.
Thornburg with link up with Triple-A Pawtucket to pitch in Thursday night’s game at Lehigh Valley. His second 30-day stint with the PawSox has gone smoothly thus far, with Thornburg turning in the latest of his three scoreless appearances on Sunday against Indianapolis.
“One thing I do like is for him to be around and see how we’re doing things,” Cora said. “That’s very important.”
Thornburg’s velocity has ticked up to 95 mph in each of his last two appearances, and Cora is hoping for something similar this weekend. Thornburg is scheduled to pitch again either Saturday or Sunday, then potentially graduate to back-to-back days. This is the stage where the Red Sox had to back off previously, shutting Thornburg down after a May 22 outing against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
“It’s good for him to be around the training staff and for me to see him on a daily basis and see how he feels,” Cora said. “He’ll leave tonight, he’ll go down there and pitch tomorrow.”