"The arrow's pointing in the right direction," rookie center
fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. said after scoring the winning run in the
ninth inning of Boston's wild 4-3 victory over Atlanta on Thursday
The win capped a four-game, two-series sweep of the bumbling Braves,
the first-place team in the National League East, who gift-wrapped
the game in the eighth and ninth innings.
The Red Sox arrived in Atlanta on Monday riding a 10-game losing
streak, their season as defending champions sinking fast. However,
the Braves failed to hold a 6-1 lead in the opener, were caught from
behind again in Game 2 and, after the interleague matchup moved to
Boston, handed the Red Sox two runs in a 4-0 loss on Wednesday.
Then came Thursday.
"We didn't handle the baseball the last two innings and it came back
and bit us," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said after three errors
and another misplay blew the game, as the Braves dropped to 11-18
after a 17-7 start. "It's not like us."
Errors by outfield brothers Justin and B.J. Upton helped the Red Sox
tie the game and the Braves' shoddy infield play contributed to a
two-run eighth and the winning run in the ninth.
Second baseman Tommy La Stella, playing in his second major league
game, couldn't handle a throw from third baseman Chris Johnson,
allowing the winning run to score.
"They contributed with some balls in play on the defensive side of
things -- just a good comeback win overall," said Boston manager
The Red Sox scored the winning run against Atlanta closer Craig
Kimbrel (0-1), who was wild and it cost him.
Bradley Jr. opened the ninth with a walk and third baseman Brock
Holt, who had three hits, also walked. Shortstop Xander Bogaerts
then hit a shot to Johnson's left. The ball was fielded by a diving
Johnson, who dropped it, picked it up and threw from his knees. The
throw was low and wide but looked like it could have been handled,
allowing Bradley to scamper home with the winning run.
Red Sox closer Koji Uehara (1-1) pitched the ninth and picked up the
After Braves right-hander Mike Minor threw seven strong innings,
Boston reached right-handed reliever David Carpenter for four
straight hits in the eighth. The outfield errors by each Upton
brother and a communications lapse that led to an infield hit by
Dustin Pedroia helped the rally along.
Bogaerts, who had three hits, drove in one run with a single and
another scored on B.J. Upton's error -- brother Justin's miscue
giving Holt an extra base on his single, his third hit. But the Red
Sox had first and third with nobody out and couldn't deliver the
go-ahead run. That came an inning later.
Said Bogaerts, who had six hits in the two games in Boston: "I tried
to relax but I think (on) the last one I even bit my lip and then I
told myself 'Just calm down. Try to get the run in or hit a deep
ball so the guy can advance and Pedey (Pedroia) can do some
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Boston starter Jake Peavy yielded three runs in eight innings but
failed to win for the sixth straight outing. He is 0-2 with four
no-decisions during that span and has just one win this season.
But Farrell called Peavy's outing "very solid," saying, "We're
banged up a little bit, but you point back to Jake Peavy's eight
innings giving us an opportunity to win this game tonight."
Minor turned in his fourth straight quality start.
Right fielder Jason Heyward hit his fifth homer of the season and
first baseman Freddie Freeman stroked a long RBI double as the
Braves built their lead.
"It's a tough way to lose, a tough one to swallow, really," said
NOTES: Boston's Ryan Lavarnway, a catcher making his big league
debut as a first baseman, left in the fifth inning because of a sore
left wrist. He'll have an MRI on Friday. ... DH David Ortiz was out
of the Boston lineup because of a sore right calf. Manager John
Farrell called the move precautionary. Ortiz pinch hit in the eighth
inning and was intentionally walked. ... RHP Brandon Workman opens
the Red Sox's three-game series against Tampa Bay on Friday night,
while RHP Rubby De La Rosa will be recalled to start on Saturday.
... RHP Julio Teheran, 19-12 lifetime and 3-0 against Miami, faces
the Marlins in a rematch with RHP Tom Koehler on Friday night in
Atlanta. Both pitched well in an April 21 matchup, but neither ended
up with a decision in a game the Braves won 4-2. ... Atlanta SS
Andrelton Simmons was back in the lineup after resting a nagging
ankle injury Wednesday. ... Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said his
team would not change its signs against Miami, which was suspected
of stealing Atlanta signs during a three-game sweep April 29-May 1.
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