Rapid Reaction: Red Sox 4, Braves 3
May, 29, 2014
By Gordon Edes | ESPNBoston.com
BOSTON -- Play it again, Xander.
Xander Bogaerts' third hit of the night, a smash to Braves third baseman Chris Johnson, led to the game-winning run when Johnson's throw to second on an attempted force was mishandled, Jackie Bradley Jr. racing home with the winning run in the bottom of the ninth.
The result: The Sox completed a home-and-home, four-game sweep of the Braves with a walk-off 4-3 win, exploiting three Braves errors in the last two innings to rally from a 3-1 deficit.
The decisive uprising: Braves closer Craig Kimbrel, who had left the bases loaded in the eighth, walked the first two batters in the bottom of the ninth, Bradley and Brock Holt, setting up Bogaerts, who was given the green light to swing away and delivered. Johnson made a diving stop to his left, but his throw to second, which would have been too late to get Holt, skipped away from second baseman Tommy La Stella, who was charged with the error.
The three-hit game was Bogaerts' second in two nights. He has reached base safely in 16 of his past 17 games.
Brothers grim: The Uptons, Justin and B.J., committed errors in the outfield three batters apart that gift-wrapped Boston's game-tying rally in the eighth.
Left fielder Justin Upton overran Holt's flared single, allowing Holt to take second leading off the inning. Bogaerts promptly singled him home to make it 3-2, and Dustin Pedroia reached safely when rookie second baseman Tommy La Stella gloved his ground ball up the middle but couldn't get a force.
A.J. Pierzynski, a late addition to the lineup as Sox DH in place of David Ortiz, who was scratched with a sore calf, followed with a base hit to center. Bogaerts initially held up but strolled home when B.J. Upton booted Pierzynski's ball. Pedroia also moved up on the error, but with runners on first and third and no out, the Sox failed to score. Reliever David Carpenter struck out Jonny Gomes, and left-hander Luis Avilan whiffed Grady Sizemore. Ortiz, pinch-hitting for Daniel Nava, was walked intentionally, and Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez defied convention by bringing his closer, Craig Kimbrel, into the eighth inning of a tie game on the road. The move paid off when David Ross flied to right to end the inning.
Plenty of Peavy: Red Sox starter Jake Peavy, winless in his past five outings and banged around for 16 runs in 16 1/3 innings over his past three starts, went eight innings for the first time this season. Peavy gave up a solo home run to Jason Heyward with two out in the third, and a walk and balk set up the Braves' second run in the fourth, Evan Gattis grounding a single to left to bring home Freddie Freeman. B.J. Upton singled to open the eighth and scored when Freeman doubled him home, making it 3-1.
Minor key: Braves left-hander Mike Minor held the Sox to a run in seven innings, allowing seven hits. Doubles by Ross and Holt accounted for the first Sox run in the fifth.