The Boston Red Sox dropped another series Wednesday night, falling to the defending World Series champion Atlanta Braves, 8-4, at Fenway Park.
The story of the night for Boston? An inability to hold the Braves offense from going on runs.
When asked what the pitching staff needed to do to improve, Red Sox manager Alex Cora was clear about the solution.
“Shutdown innings,” Cora said, as seen on NESN’s postgame coverage. “We’ve been talking about two out walks, two out runs. (We need) shutdown innings too. We went with Darwinzon (Hernandez in the seventh inning) you know, we can’t go to everybody at the same time. He gets (Braves designated hitter Marcell Ozuna out, then an infield hit, then the homer. He did a good job with the next two hitters.
“We came back, we went with (Ryan) Brasier, I think it was an 0-2 hit by (Braves first baseman Matt) Olson, if I’m not mistaken, that stayed over the middle of the plate… It’s where we’re at right now. We have to pitch better, we have to play better. That’s it.”
Here are more notes from Red Sox-Braves:
— Tommy Pham belted his third home run in a Red Sox uniform Wednesday, all coming in consecutive games. Pham has seven RBIs over that stretch. He finished the night 1-for-4.
Cora commended the trade deadline acquisition after the game.
“The thing with Tommy is he stays in the zone,” Cora said. “He doesn’t expand. His strikeouts in Kansas City were looking, but at the edge of the zone. When he gets pitched in it, he puts good swings, and he’s done a good job for us, he’s a different at-bat.”
— Braves rookie Vaughn Grissom made his MLB debut Wednesday, belting a home run for his first-career hit. He became the Braves player since at least 1901 — when they were based in Boston — to record a home run and stolen base in their major-league debut, according to Red Sox’s Raleigh Clark.
— The 8-4 loss dropped Boston’s run differential to -36 on the season, the fourth worst in the American League behind the Kansas City Royals, Detroit Tigers and Oakland Athletics.
— Braves pitcher Kirby Yates made an appearance on Wednesday night, his first in the big league’s since Aug. 14, 2020, according to The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier.
— The Red Sox will play a make-up game against the Baltimore Orioles on Thursday at Fenway Park. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. ET and full coverage the game will be available using NESN 360 following an hour of pregame coverage.