Monday, May 26, 2014

Sox Stop Skid, Beat Braves

The Red Sox halted their 10-game losing streak today with an 8-6 win over the Atlanta Braves. Boston had not won since Wednesday, May 14th in Minnesota, when they routed the Twins 9-4. What followed was a loss in the series finale and three consecutive sweeps to the Tigers and Blue Jays at home, then to the Rays on the road. The skid, Boston's longest since 1994, included three walk-off defeats and dropped them from second place in the AL East to fifth, aka last.

John Farrell's team won today with their biggest scoring output since their most recent win, rallying from a 6-1 deficit to stun the Braves. Trailing 6-1 in the top of the fifth thanks to another horrible start from Clay Buchholz, Boston hung five runs on the scoreboard to tie the game with a two-run single from Dustin Pedroia followed by a three-run bomb off the bat of David Ortiz.

Papi struck again in the top of the seventh, giving Boston the lead with his fourth RBI of the day; a go-ahead sacrifice fly that plated Brock Holt. The next batter, A.J. Pierzynski, knocked in Xander Bogaerts with a ground ball single to Andrelton Simmons.

Boston's airtight bullpen took it from there, as Junichi Tazawa set down the Braves in the bottom half of the frame and Andrew Miller did the same in the eighth. After getting Justin Upton to fly out to lead off the bottom of the ninth, Koji Uehara was touched for a single by Chris Johnson, which brought the potential tying run to the plate in the form of Simmons. But the slumping Simmons grounded into a game-ending 6-4-3 double play, giving Uehara his tenth save and Boston a much-needed win.

The Sox will look to turn this victory into a winning streak tomorrow with Jon Lester on the mound. Atlanta answers with Aaron Harang. Both have been very good this season, so expect a good old-fashioned pitcher's duel at Turner Field tomorrow night.

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