April 21, 2018
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Red Sox capitalize on Braves’ errors to complete four-game sweep

Bob DeChiara | USA Today Sports
Bob DeChiara | USA Today Sports
Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia (right) reacts as Jackie Bradley Jr. (25) scores the winning run during the ninth inning of Thursday night's game against the Atlanta Braves at Fenway Park in Boston. The Red Sox won 4-3.
By Mike Shalin, The Sports Xchange

BOSTON — The Boston Red Sox completed their four-game, two-series sweep of the sloppy Atlanta Braves with a wild come-from-behind 4-3 victory on Thursday night at Fenway Park.

Errors by outfield brothers Justin and B.J. Upton helped the Red Sox, and the Braves’ shoddy infield play contributed to a two-run eighth and the winning run in the ninth. Second baseman Tommy La Stella, playing in his second major league game, couldn’t handle a throw from third baseman Chris Johnson, allowing the winning run to score.

After rallying for two victories in Atlanta and then winning 4-0 in the first game in Boston, the Red Sox, who had lost 10 games in a row before the two series, came through late.

The Red Sox scored the winning run against Atlanta closer Craig Kimbrel (0-1).

Center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. opened the ninth with a walk and third baseman Brock Holt, who had three hits, also walked.

Shortstop Xander Bogaerts then hit a shot to Johnson’s left. The ball was fielded by a diving Johnson, who threw from his knees. The throw was low and wide but looked like it could have been handled, allowing Bradley to scamper home with the winning run.

Red Sox closer Koji Uehara (1-1) pitched the ninth and picked up the win.

After Braves right-hander Mike Minor threw seven strong innings, Boston reached right-handed reliever David Carpenter for four straight hits in the eighth. The outfield errors by each Upton brother and a communications lapse that led to an infield hit by Dustin Pedroia helped the rally along.

Bogaerts, who had three hits, drove in one run with a single and another scored on B.J. Upton’s error — brother Justin’s miscue giving Holt an extra base on his single, his third hit of the night. But the Red Sox had first and third with nobody out and couldn’t deliver the go-ahead run. That came an inning later.

Boston starter Jake Peavy yielded three runs in eight innings but failed to win for the sixth straight outing. He is 0-2 with four no-decisions during that span and has just one win this season.

Minor turned in his fourth straight quality start.

Right fielder Jason Heyward hit his fifth homer of the season and first baseman Freddie Freeman stroked a long RBI double as the Braves built their lead.

Boston’s Ryan Lavarnway, a catcher making his major league debut at first base, left for a pinch hitter in the fifth inning because of a sore left wrist.

Heyward connected with one out in the third inning, his third homer in five career games at Fenway Park. It was also his second homer in the last three games after he hit just three in his first 48.

In the fourth, a balk called against Peavy — the call made by noted balk umpire Bob Davidson — moved Freeman, who had walked, to second base. Braves catcher Evan Gattis followed with his RBI single, and it was 2-0.

The Braves went 1-for-13 with runners in scoring position in the previous two games before Gattis delivered on the team’s first chance Thursday. However, Atlanta failed to cash in on anything further in the fourth and wasted a first-and-third, one-out chance in the fifth.

The Red Sox scored in the bottom of the fifth. Holt came through with a two-out run-scoring double, his second hit of the game.

NOTES: DH David Ortiz was out of the Boston lineup because of a sore right calf. Manager John Farrell called the move precautionary. Ortiz pinch hit in the eighth inning and was intentionally walked. … RHP Brandon Workman opens the Red Sox’s three-game series against Tampa Bay on Friday night, his second start since his recall, both against the Rays. He went five innings Sunday in a no-decision. … RHP Julio Teheran, 19-12 lifetime and 3-0 against Miami, faces the Marlins in a rematch with RHP Tom Koehler on Friday night in Atlanta. Both pitched well in an April 21 matchup, but neither ended up with a decision in a game the Braves won 4-2. … Atlanta SS Andrelton Simmons was back in the lineup after resting a nagging ankle injury Wednesday. … Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said his team would not change its signs against Miami, which was suspected of stealing Atlanta signs during a three-game sweep April 29-May 1.

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