BOSTON — You can’t win ’em all.
The Red Sox were looking to sweep the Atlanta Braves in the fourth game of their home-and-home series Thursday night, but Boston’s bats were much quieter than usual. Add in a shaky start from Clay Buchholz, and you get a 5-3 loss to the lowly Braves.
But, hey, at least the bullpen wasn’t taxed this time.
Here’s how Thursday’s game at Fenway Park unfolded.
GAME IN A WORD
The Red Sox picked the worst night not to produce any offense. Buchholz gave up five runs, but that still seemed surmountable with the way Boston had handled the Braves in the first three games against them. But without much scoring and some uncharacteristically shaky defense, the Red Sox just couldn’t get anything going.
IT WAS OVER WHEN …
The Red Sox couldn’t come back in the ninth.
You still have to have faith in this lineup when they’re down by three runs, but it simply didn’t happen this time.
ON THE BUMP
— It certainly wasn’t the best start for Buchholz, but if you want to look on the bright side, the right-hander made it into the seventh inning for just the second time this season. But the results certainly weren’t what Buchholz wanted.
Buchholz’s command was off, and he wound up allowing five earned runs on eight hits with four walks and just two strikeouts over 6 1/3 innings.
— Left-hander Tommy Layne came in for Buchholz with a runner on and gave up a single to Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman. Layne also did something that doesn’t happen very often by intentionally walking left fielder Jeff Francoeur to load the bases in order to get to lefty Jace Peterson. The move worked, as Layne struck Peterson out to end the inning.
Layne came back in the eighth and allowed a double to Mallex Smith and a single to Nick Markakis, but Red Sox catcher Christian Vazquez caught Smith stealing third. Heath Hembree finished off the inning for Layne, who allowed three hits over 1 1/3 innings with a walk and a strikeout.
— Hembree came back in the ninth and allowed a single to Freeman but got out of the inning unscathed.
IN THE BATTER’S BOX
— The Red Sox got some runners on, but it didn’t translate into many runs. It certainly didn’t help that David Ortiz and Travis Shaw both went 0-for-4, either.
— Mookie Betts got his first hit of the night on a single in the ninth and went 1-for-4 with a walk.
— Hanley Ramirez, however, did his job despite the fact he has struggled at the plate at times this season. The first baseman went 3-for-4 with a double and two of the Red Sox’s RBIs.
— Dustin Pedroia went 2-for-5 with a double, a run and an RBI, and Xander Bogaerts went 1-for-2 with a double, a run and two walks.
— Chris Young joined the double parade, too, and went 1-for-3. Brock Holt pinch hit for Young in the eighth and grounded out.
— Jackie Bradley Jr. went 1-for-4 and Christian Vazquez went 1-for-3. Josh Rutledge pinch hit for Vazquez in the ninth and struck out.
TWEET OF THE NIGHT
You can’t win 162 games, and the Red Sox still have their eyes on the prize.
The New York Yankees come to Fenway on Friday to start a three-game series. Red Sox starter Henry Owens will go head-to-head with Yankees ace Masahiro Tanaka in the 7:10 p.m. game.
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images
Thumbnail photo via Apr 28, 2016; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Clay Buchholz (11) pitches during the first inning against the Atlanta Braves at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports