ATLANTA -- It's a reflexive thing to say, after a team has finally ended a long losing streak.
"We can win 10 in a row just as easily as we can lose 10 in a row," Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia said Monday.
You nod in agreement, because you've learned it's never a good idea to pick a fight with a Rottweiler. But let's face it, you're thinking that soon enough the Sox and reality will encounter each other again, and the Sox will come out on the short end.
But then you watch the seventh inning of Tuesday's 6-3 Red Sox win over the Braves, when all the bad karma accrued by the Sox in the last week and a half seemingly was flushed away by one stroke of good fortune after another. And it occurs to you that if things break this way for the Sox over the next week or so, Pedroia's notion isn't as far-fetched as it sounds.
The good vibes: The Sox scored four runs in the lucky seventh, going single, bloop, bloop, bloop, broken-bat RBI to take the lead, then scoring again after David Ross received his first intentional walk after 186 plate appearances in the American League, and slump-ridden Jackie Bradley Jr. smacked a two-run single.
Xander Bogaerts started the rally by lining a single into left, and Dustin Pedroia flared a hit to right. David Ortiz dumped a pigeon drop just inside the left field line to score Bogaerts and tie the score. Jonny Gomes blooped another single to right, reloading the bases, as Braves security men frantically scoured the Sox dugout for signs of an illegal talisman, amulet or voodoo doll. Grady Sizemore then shattered his bat on an infield out that scored Pedroia, and after the intentional pass to the light-hitting Ross, Bradley shot a single through the left side that made it 6-3.
Before it was over, the Sox sent 10 batters to the plate, their longest inning of the season.
The (ahem) streak: The Sox won back-to-back games for the first time since May 10-11 in Texas.
Dear Web Gems: You have a new subscriber, Sox right fielder Jonny Gomes, who's a master at ratcheting up the degree of difficulty on routine plays but made an out-of-the-ordinary diving catch of Gerald Laird's liner after a leadoff walk in the eighth, squelching a potential rally.
Locked-down pen: The overworked Sox pen, which gave John Farrell six scoreless innings Monday, gave him three more Tuesday, Andrew Miller whiffing two in the eighth and Koji Uehara whiffing two in the ninth.
Signs of life: Bradley and Sizemore, who have been a drag on the Sox offense for much of the season, each had two hits and a stolen base. Sizemore has a single, double and triple in the last two games. Bradley snapped an 0-for-12.
Rope-a-dope Lester: Left-hander Jon Lester was in trouble all night, allowing eight hits and three walks in six innings, but limited the damage to three runs and emerged with his fifth win.
Lester, by the way, stands alone as the worst-hitting pitcher of the DH era. He's now 0-for-32 with 20 K's. He has reached base once in his career, on a walk by Giants reliever Guillermo Mota.