Red Sox rally with 4 runs in 7th, beat Braves 6-3
May. 28, 2014
ATLANTA (AP) — The Red Sox are headed home with a new streak and renewed optimism.
Jackie Bradley Jr. hit a two-run single during Boston's four-run seventh inning, and the Red Sox beat the Atlanta Braves 6-3 on Tuesday night in their latest comeback following their longest losing streak in 20 years.
Dustin Pedroia had three hits and Grady Sizemore went 2 for 5 with a go-ahead groundout in the seventh.
The Red Sox snapped their 10-game losing streak on Monday, overcoming a five-run deficit to top Atlanta 8-6. Now they have a winning streak and a feeling that it's their turn for some good breaks as they prepare to play two games against the Braves in Boston.
"It's good for our self-esteem," said Jonny Gomes, who singled and scored on Bradley's hit in the seventh, and then had a highlight-worthy catch in right field in the eighth.
Jon Lester (5-6) snapped a personal two-game losing streak by giving up three runs and eight hits in six innings.
"To come here ... with that streak and end up getting two (wins) here is really big," Lester said.
Koji Uehara worked the ninth for his 11th save.
"More than anything, our guys are having fun playing the game," Boston manager John Farrell said. "It was a tough 10-game stretch we came through but there's been plenty of energy kind of injected back in the dugout."
Farrell said bloop hits by Gomes and David Ortiz in the seventh were good signs that luck has changed for the Red Sox.
"It was good to see maybe the worm turn a little bit with runners in scoring position," Farrell said.
Braves starter Aaron Harang left with a 3-2 lead after the sixth. Anthony Varvaro (1-1) took the loss.
Jason Heyward hit a first-inning homer and Chris Johnson drove in two runs for Atlanta.
The Braves had two injury scares.
Catcher Evan Gattis was a late scratch after straining his right wrist in batting practice. He sat on the bench with a brace. Shortstop Andrelton Simmons left in the eighth with inflammation in his right ankle.
"We don't see anything that is long-term," manager Fredi Gonzalez said of Simmons and Gattis.
Simmons said the pain was "just a nagging thing. So hopefully it stops nagging."
Harang gave up seven hits before Boston tagged the Braves' bullpen in the seventh.
Varvaro gave up one-out singles to Xander Bogaerts and Dustin Pedroia before left-hander Luis Avilan was summoned to face Ortiz.
Ortiz, batting .283 against left-handers and .263 versus right-handers, hit an RBI single that made it 3-all.
A day earlier, he homered and drove in four runs at Turner Field. He drew loud boos in the eighth when he grounded out and then broke his bat over his knee.
After Ortiz tied it, Gomes' blooper to right field loaded the bases. Sizemore's broken-bat groundout drove in Pedroia for a 4-3 lead.
After an intentional walk to David Ross, Bradley singled.
The rally made a winner of Lester, who agreed with Farrell's description of his outing as a "grind."
"I made some decent pitches when I had to and minimized damage when I had to," Lester said.
The Braves loaded the bases in the second but didn't score. Harang hit into a double play, and Heyward's grounder to Pedroia ended the inning.
Sizemore doubled with one out in the fourth and stole third. Gonzalez challenged the call, but a replay review showed Sizemore was safe. Ross hit a single that made it 2-all.
Freddie Freeman's first triple of the year set up the Braves' go-ahead run in the fifth. Justin Upton walked and Johnson hit a blooper that fell in right, turning into a run-scoring forceout at second.
Gomes delivered the defensive highlight of the game with his diving catch on Gerald Laird's sinking liner in the eighth.
NOTES: Heyward's homer was the first allowed by Lester to a left-handed hitter in 180 at-bats, including postseason games, since July 18, 2013. ... The teams will play the first of two games in Boston on Wednesday night when Red Sox RHP John Lackey faces RHP Gavin Floyd.