Boston Red Sox

Red Sox starter Rick Porcello was straight-up rolling through the Philadelphia lineup after seven innings on the mound.

Bouncing back from a nightmarish start in Toronto last week — it was there that Porcello surrendered two home runs and seven earned runs in just four innings of work —  the sinker-throwing righty was thriving against the Phillies. With just two hits allowed and a season-high 10 punchouts, Porcello was looking every bit like the pitcher that dominated the Yankees for a one-hit, complete game just two weeks ago.

Porcello’s lone mistake was taken deep by the Phillies’ Rhys Hoskins in the bottom of the fifth, sure, but at an economical 90 pitches, an eighth inning reappearance out of the Boston dugout from No. 22 seemed like a lock.

Had this game been played in an American League ballpark, anyway.

But in Philly territory and with Porcello due up, Red Sox manager Alex Cora made the difficult call to turn to Brock Holt as a pinch-hitter for Porcello in the road half of the top of the eighth inning. Holt delivered, too, with what turned out to be the game-winning home run in a 2-1 win at Citizens Bank Ballpark on Tuesday night.

“I just swing,” Holt, who is now 2-for-7 as a pinch-hitter this season, told RedSox.com after the victory. “I don’t try to hit singles or doubles or homers or whatever. I just swing and try to hit the ball and wherever it goes it goes. I’m thankful that it went out and I was able to score and get us on the board there.”

Heath Hembree handled the home half of the eighth inning with two strikeouts, while Craig Kimbrel worked out of a man-on, no-out situation in the bottom of the ninth en route to his 37th save of the season.

Porcello’s start was a historic one for the Red Sox, too. With Porcello’s start coming after Sunday’s dominant Chris Sale outing where the left-handed ace struck out 12 batters in just five innings of work, Red Sox starters have now delivered back-to-back starts with at least 10 strikeouts and zero walks for the first time in their franchise history.

The Red Sox will turn to Nathan Eovaldi tomorrow night for the conclusion of this brief two-game set in Philly.