Red Sox honor 2004 champs, then win third straight
BOSTON — On the night the Boston Red Sox celebrated the 10th anniversary of their 2004 championship, the 2014 team continued its attempt to dig out of its last-place hole.
Veteran right-hander John Lackey pitched 6 1/3 shutout innings and a pair of Atlanta misplays led to runs as the Red Sox, who snapped a 10-game losing streak on Monday, beat the Braves for the third straight time this week — posting a 4-0 victory.
Lackey (6-3) worked seven shutout innings at Tampa Bay in his previous start and left Wednesday’s game with first and second and one out in the seventh inning. He didn’t walk anyone and struck out nine. Three relievers finished up as the Red Sox recorded their first shutout of the season.
The Red Sox, who came from behind to win the two interleague games in Atlanta, scored single runs in the second and third innings to hang the loss on right-hander Gavin Floyd (0-2). The first run scored on a double-play grounder and the second on a single by catcher A.J. Pierzynski. Rookie center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. (two hits) doubled home a run off left-handed reliever Alex Wood in the sixth (his fourth RBI in the three games against Atlanta) and left fielder Jonny Gomes singled in a run off Wood in the seventh.
Floyd worked the first five innings and suffered his first loss in eight career decisions against the Red Sox. In fact, he came in as one of four pitchers all-time undefeated against Boston (minimum eight starts).
Rookie shortstop Xander Bogaerts had three hits and a walk for the Red Sox, who came in in a virtual tie for fourth place in the AL East.
Atlanta second baseman Tommy La Stella, recalled from Triple-A earlier in the day, went 2-for-4 in his major league debut.
Shortstop Ramiro Pena, starting with Andrelton Simmons resting an ankle injury, fielded Gomes’ infield hit and threw it away for an extra base with nobody out in the second inning. The run wound up scoring when first baseman Daniel Nava bounced into a double play.
Center fielder B.J. Upton got a late start of Bogaerts’ pop fly with one out in the third. A two-out single by designated hitter David Ortiz got Bogaerts to third and Pierzynski then singled through the middle to make it 2-0.
The Braves had their third and fourth hits in the fifth but didn’t score, Lackey ending it with his eighth strikeout.
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Notes: The Red Sox placed struggling RHP Clay Buchholz on the 15-day disabled list (retroactive to Tuesday) with a hyperextended left knee. They recalled RHP Alex Wilson from Triple-A Pawtucket. Buchholz has allowed 19 earned runs in 18 innings during his last four starts. ... New Chicago Cubs Triple-A player/coach Manny Ramirez, sporting a Mohawk, was on hand as the Red Sox honored their 2004 championship team in pregame ceremonies. ... With Atlanta second basemen hitting a combined .185, the Braves recalled 2B Tommy La Stella from Triple-A and he was in the lineup. 2B Tyler Pastornicky was sent to the minors. ... Braves SS Andrelton Simmons, who left Tuesday night’s game with a “nagging” ankle injury, did not start and C Evan Gattis (wrist) was a late lineup addition after passing a batting practice test. He missed Tuesday’s game. ... LHP Mike Minor starts for the Braves against Red Sox RHP Jake Peavy in the finale of the two-game Boston portion of the four-game interleague matchup tonight.