Final, Red Sox Win 8-6: Boston ended its 10-game losing streak with an 8-6 victory over the Atlanta Braves on Monday afternoon at Turner Field.
The Red Sox were down 6-3 in the fifth inning when David Ortiz tied the score with a three-run homer. After a lengthy rain delay, the Sox scored two runs in the seventh for an 8-6 lead, and the bullpen took care of the rest as Koji Uehara earned his first save in 15 days.
Boston will continue its two-game series with Atlanta on Tuesday night.
End 9th, Boston 8-6: Koji Uehara entered the game in a save opportunity and got Justin Upton to fly out to right-center field for the first out. Chris Johnson singled to left field to bring the tying run to the plate.
Andrelton Simmons grounded into a double play to end the game.
Mid 9th, Boston 8-6: Xander Bogaerts led off the inning with a ground out to third base. Dustin Pedroia drew a walk, but David Ortiz and A.J. Pierzynski weren’t able to advance him past first base.
End 8th, Boston 8-6: Jason Heyward led off the inning and sent a ball into left-center field for a hit but he slid past second base and was tagged out by Dustin Pedroia. Andrew Miller, who entered the game for Tazawa, struck out B.J. Upton for the second out.
Freddie Freeman struck out to end the inning.
Mid 8th, Boston 8-6: Jackie Bradley Jr. flied out to center field. Mike Carp pinch hit for Tazawa and struck out.
Brock Holt struck out to end the inning.
End 7th, Boston 8-6: Junichi Tazawa entered the game for Mujica and got Pena to fly out to right field.
Laird flied out to center field for the second out.
Ryan Doumit pinch hit for Avilan and struck out to end the inning.
Mid 7th, Boston 8-6: Ryan Lavarnway batted for Mujica as a pinch hitter and grounded out to Freddie Freeman at first base.
Brock Holt hit a bouncing grounder down the first base line and beat out the throw from Freeman to Braves pitcher Ian Thomas. Thomas got a late jump off the mound. It was Holt’s second base hit of the game. Bogaerts advanced the runner with a walk.
Holt and Bogaerts then advanced to third base and second base, respectively, when Thomas threw a wild pitch that went off Laird’s glove and rolled to the backstop.
Pedroia drew a walk to load the bases with David Ortiz on deck. Ortiz hit a sacrifice fly to deep right field to bring Holt home from third base. Bogaerts also advanced to third base. Pierzynski collected another RBI with a base hit up the middle that the shortstop couldn’t field cleanly. Bogaerts scored from third to increase Boston’s lead to 8-6.
Luis Avilan replaced Thomas after Pierzynski’s RBI single. He then walked Jonny Gomes to load the bases for Grady Sizemore, who grounded out to end the inning.
Overall, it was a very successful inning for the Red Sox.
End 6th, 6-6: Edward Mujica entered the game for Boston as the bullpens take center stage after the lengthy rain delay.
After a leadoff walk to Justin Upton, Chris Johnson hit into a double play. Mujica got Andrelton Simmons to ground out to first base to end the inning.
5:03 p.m.: Play is about to resume in the top of the sixth inning.
4:42 p.m.: The grounds crew appears to be removing the tarp over the infield, so baseball should resume shortly in Atlanta.
4:22 p.m.: The rain delay is ongoing. There has been no official update on when the game will resume.
3:40 p.m.: We’re officially in a rain delay, as the grounds crew has just rolled out the tarp at Turner Field.
Mid 6th, 6-6: Left-hander Alex Wood came on in relief for the Braves and issued a leadoff walk to Gomes, but Sizemore hit a grounder to Simmons, who took it himself for the 6-3 double play.
Wood got Bradley Jr. on a strikeout to end the inning, as the clouds are rolling in fast at Turner Field. We could see some rain in the very near future.
End 5th, 6-6: Chris Capuano came on to relieve Badenhop and struck out pinch-hitter Tyler Pastornicky to start the inning, but Pastornicky reached first when the ball squirted between Pierzynski’s legs to the backstop.
Capuano recovered nicely, though, setting down Heyward, B.J. Upton and Freeman in order to retire the side.
Pastornicky’s pinch-hit appearance also means that Santana is done for the day. Here is his line: 5.0 innings pitched, five hits, six earned runs, three walks and six strikeouts on 95 pitches.
Mid 5th, 6-6: The Red Sox have had enough of this losing nonsense.
After Santana got Sizemore to ground out to shortstop and struck out Bradley Jr. to start the inning, Boston staged a furious two-out rally to tie the game at 6-6.
Daniel Nava pinch-hit for Badenhop in the nine spot got things started with a walk. Holt followed that up with a double down the line in right, and Bogaerts walked on a full count to load the bases with two outs.
Pedroia lined a single just in front of Justin Upton in left that scored two runs and cut the lead to 6-3. Then it was Big Papi clutch time, as the Sox slugger launched a three-run homer into the left field seats to tie this contest at 6-6.
Pierzynski grounded out to first to end the inning, but we have ourselves a ballgame.
End 4th, Braves 6-1: Clay Buchholz simply couldn’t find the strike zone today, as things are starting to unravel in Atlanta.
The Sox pitcher surrendered two more walks to bring his total to eight and allowed another run before getting the hook from manager John Farrell.
Jason Heyward led off with his third walk of the day before B.J. Upton roped a double to the left center to score Heyward and put the Braves up 4-1. That prompted another mound visit from Nieves.
Nieves’ message was apparently lost on Buchholz, who walked Freeman for the third time as well. Freeman and Heyward combined for six of Buchholz’s eight walks.
Burke Badenhop came on in relief to face Justin Upton, who hit a chopper to Holt at third. The ball skipped off Holt’s glove into the outfield, allowing another run to score as Upton advanced to second.
Badenhop finally retired Johnson on ground out for the inning’s first out, but Simmons smacked a two-RBI single to left to extend the lead to 6-1.
Boston finally caught a break when Pena’s bunt attempt hit him while he was out of the box, resulting in an automatic out. Laird then grounded out to Badenhop to end the inning.
The final line on Buchholz: 4.0 innings pitched, four hits, six earned runs, eight walks and four strikeouts on 88 pitches. Ugly.
Mid 4th, Braves 3-1: Nothing doing for the Sox in the fourth.
Pedroia grounded out to short to start the inning. Ortiz smacked a foul ball off his right foot that sent him crumpling to the ground, but he waved off the trainers and drew a walk.
Santana then fanned both Pierzynski and Gomes on fastballs to end the inning and give him five strikeouts on the day.
End 3rd, Braves 3-1: Buchholz may be hitting well, but he’s struggling big-time on the mound.
Buchholz surrendered three more walks in the third to Heyward, Freeman and Simmons, and this time they cost him.
With two on and one out after a B.J. Upton strikeout, Justin Upton smacked a two-RBI double to right center field to give the Braves a 2-1 lead.
Chris Johnson kept the rally going after Bogaerts made a nice play to stop his grounder to short but drew David Ortiz off the bag on the throw.
Buchholz walked Simmons to load the bases, but bounced back with a strikeout of Pena.
Laird then drilled Buchholz in the foot on a comebacker to the mound that he was unable to track down, as another run crossed the plate to extend Atlanta’s lead to 3-1.
Buchholz struck out Santana looking with the bases loaded to end the damage but now has 75 pitches and a career-high six walks through just three innings. He’s not lasting much longer in this one.
Mid 3rd, Red Sox 1-0: Even Clay Buchholz is hitting now, and the Sox are on the board first for the second straight game.
The Red Sox bats finally came to life in the third thanks to a leadoff triple from Grady Sizemore.
Sizemore laced a line drive to center that spun around B.J. Upton and landed just over his outstretched glove near the warning track.
Bradley Jr. got the job done next, hitting a sacrifice fly to left field to put the Sox up 1-0.
Then Buchholz got in on the act, smacking an impressive line-drive single to right center field. The Sox couldn’t score their pitcher, though, as Holt struck out and Bogaerts flied out to center to end the inning.
End 2nd, 0-0: Buchholz had a little less trouble in the second, but allowed his third walk in two innings to Gerald Laird.
Andrelton Simmons grounded out to second, Ramiro Pena flied to left and Ervin Santana popped out to second to end the frame. Buchholz is up to 37 pitches through just two innings.
Mid 2nd, 0-0: The Braves showed some nifty defense in the second, as catcher Gerald Laird made a great sliding catch in front of the backstop behind home plate to retire A.J. Pierzynski.
David Ortiz lined out to center to start the inning and Jonny Gomes lined to left to end it, as the Sox remain hitless through two innings.
End 1st, 0-0: Buchholz is struggling with his control right out of the gate.
Buchholz walked leadoff man Jason Heyward and put on Freddie Freeman after Jackie Bradley Jr. ran a long way to track down a deep fly ball to center field off the bat of B.J. Upton.
After a visit from pitching coach Juan Nieves, though, Buchholz recovered to strike out Justin Upton looking and get Chris Johnson to fly out to right field.
Mid 1st, 0-0: Santana had no trouble with the top of the Red Sox order.
The Braves starter got Brock Holt to ground out to second, then struck out Xander Bogaerts on a slider and Dustin Pedroia on a fastball to end the half-inning.
1:13 p.m.: Ervin Santana’s first pitch misses low and we’re under way at Turner Field.
11:45 a.m., ET: We’re a little over an hour away from the first pitch as the Red Sox are in Atlanta on Memorial Day to kick off their first interleague road series of the season against the Atlanta Braves.
To say that the Red Sox are limping into today’s game would be an understatement.
The Sox have lost 10 games in a row, their first double-digit digit losing streak since 1994, and sit in last place in the American League East after leading the division just under two weeks ago. Their last loss was especially painful, an 8-5 defeat at the hands of the rival Tampa Bay Rays that featured a benches-clearing brawl.
The Red Sox will look to put all of that behind them today, however, as Clay Buchholz takes the mound against Braves starting pitcher Ervin Santana. Santana got off to great start this season, going 4-0 with a 1.99 ERA in his first starts, but has suffered back-to-back losses in his last two appearances.
If Boston can make it three losses in a row for Santana, it will be a huge weight off the team’s shoulders.
Check out both full lineups for today’s 1 p.m. game below, and make sure you check back here for all of the latest updates from Atlanta.
Boston Red Sox (20-29)
Brock Holt, 3B
Xander Bogaerts, SS
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, 1B
A.J. Pierzynski, C
Jonny Gomes, RF
Grady Sizemore, LF
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
Clay Buchholz, RHP (2-4, 6.32 ERA)
Atlanta Braves (28-21)
Jason Heyward, LF
B.J. Upton, CF
Freddie Freeman, 1B
Justin Upton, LF
Chris Johnson, 3B
Andrelton Simmons, SS
Ramiro Pena, 2B
Gerald Laird, C
Ervin Santana, RHP (4-2, 3.42 ERA)