The Boston Red Sox have hung their hat this season on different guys stepping up one game after another, and that remained the case Tuesday.
One day after Ian Kinsler played a big role in a victory, Steve Pearce was the catalyst in the Sox’s 5-1 win over the Atlanta Braves in Game 2 of a three-game set at SunTrust Park.
Playing first and hitting fifth, Pearce drove in a trio of runs as he went 3-for-4. Sox starter Rick Porcello, meanwhile, allowed just one run over five innings before letting the bullpen toss four scoreless frames to end the game.
With the win, the Red Sox climb to 96-44, while the Braves fall to 76-62.
Here’s how it went down:
GAME IN A WORD
The pitching did its job while the offense, whether by hits or walks, found ways to create traffic on the bases.
ON THE BUMP
— One bad pitch marred what otherwise was a pretty good outing for Porcello. The right-hander gave up one run on two hits with one walk and five strikeouts.
After a 1-2-3 first inning, Porcello gave up his lone run in the second. With two down, he put a fastball on the outside edge of the plate to Kurt Suzuki, who responded by launching the ball into the bullpen.
Porcello then allowed two runners to reach on a fielding error and hit batter, but got out of the frame without further damage.
He let two more runners reach in the third on a single and walk, but stranded them both. After tossing a 1-2-3 fourth, Porcello hit the leadoff batter in an otherwise clean fifth, his final inning of the night.
— Steven Wright took over in the sixth and allowed a two-out double to Suzuki plus a walk, but recorded a strikeout to end the inning.
— Joe Kelly walked one and struck out two in a scoreless, hitless seventh.
— Ryan Brasier allowed a single and punched out one in a scoreless eighth.
— Heath Hembree struck out two in a clean ninth.
IN THE BATTER’S BOX
— After falling behind early, Boston’s offense came alive in the middle innings.
With the bases loaded and one out in the fifth, Braves starter Sean Newcomb walked Xander Bogaerts to bring in the tying run. Atlanta then made a pitching change, but Steve Pearce immediately responded with a single to plate the go-ahead run. Eduardo Nunez followed that up by driving in another run on a groundout, giving the Sox a 3-1 lead before the frame ended.
One inning later, Pearce added a pair more.
With two down and the bases juiced again, Pearce smacked a single to drive in two, upping the Red Sox’s lead to 5-1.
— Pearce led the Red Sox with three hits.
— J.D. Martinez, Jackie Bradley Jr., Kinsler, Bogaerts and Porcello all had one hit.
— Mookie Betts, Sandy Leon and Nunez all went hitless, as did pinch-hitters Rafael Devers and Brock Holt.
TWEET OF THE DAY
Always good to have a little support.
The Red Sox and Braves will finish up their three-game set Wednesday afternoon. Hector Velazquez is set to get the ball for Boston and will be opposed by Mike Foltynewicz. First pitch from SunTrust Park is scheduled for 12:10 p.m. ET.
Thumbnail photo via Jason Getz/USA TODAY Sports Images