Red Sox Wrap: Boston Falls 6-3 To Braves In Series Opener

A big fifth inning gave Atlanta the edge

by Alexandra Francisco

August 31, 2020

The Boston Red Sox looked good early in their series opener against the Braves, but Atlanta used a big fifth inning to create separation.

The Braves never looked back, earning a 6-3 victory Monday night at Fenway Park.

The Boston offense started and ended with Alex Verdugo, who went 3-for-4 at the plate with two runs scored, and Rafael Devers, who went 2-for-4 with an RBI.

Colten Brewer got the loss starting for Boston, while Atlanta’s Max Fried earning the win.

The Braves improved to 20-14. The Red Sox fell to 12-22.

Here’s how it all went down:

GAME IN A WORD
Bummer.

Things looked promising for Boston to notch its third-straight win, but a big fifth inning from Atlanta put it away.

ON THE BUMP
— Brewer got the start for Boston and ran into trouble early.

The righty gave up a single to the first batter he faced in Dansby Swanson before allowing Nick Markakis to drive him home two batters later with an RBI double. Despite giving up another base hit to open the game, Brewer got out of the inning giving up just one run.

Brewer’s troubles returned in the fourth when Adam Duvall launched a lead-off home run, but retired three of hte next four batters.

Brewer was pulled before recording an out in the fifth after giving up a double in between two walks to start the inning. He finished his day with five earned runs off eight hits and two walks across four innings of word.

— Phillips Valdez took over for Brewer in the fifth, but immediately gave up a triple that scored the two base runners he inherited.

It was the only hit he gave up, however, as he struck out the next three guys at bat to end the inning.

— Robinson Leyer made his Major League Baseball debut in the sixth.

The nerves showed a bit, with the righty giving up a run on two hits and a walk, but earned his first big-league strikeout against Marcell Ozuna.

— Another recent call-up, Robert Stock, threw the seventh inning for Boston. He held Atlanta scoreless, giving up a walk and striking out two.

— Jeffrey Springs took over in the eighth and was a bright spot out of the bullpen. He threw 13 pitches and with two strikeouts for a quick 1-2-3 inning.

Springs returned to close out the game, and after giving up a leadoff single before ending the inning unscathed.

IN THE BATTER’S BOX
— Boston answered Atlanta’s first-inning run with one of its own on a Devers RBI single to center.

— Verdugo hit his second double of the game to lead off the third, leading to the Red Sox’s go-ahead run. A Christian Vazquez ground out pushed Verdugo to third, and the outfielder scored on a balk after some great base running to put Boston up 2-1.

— After the Braves took a 6-2 lead in the sixth, the Red Sox didn’t record another hit until the eighth inning.

Vazquez singled to left field with one out, followed by a deep single for Devers to advance Verdugo to second. Xander Bogaerts got the RBI to make it 6-3 while notching his first hit of the game, but Boston stranded two runners to end the inning.

— Jackie Bradley Jr. and Vazquez each had a hit and walked for Boston, with the catcher also recording a run.

— Chavis, Dalbec, Jonathan Arauz and Jose Peraza were all hitless.

TWEET OF THE DAY
Magic hour at Fenway is special, even if fans aren’t there to enjoy it.

UP NEXT
The Red Sox continue their three-game series against the Braves on Tuesday. First pitch is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

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