Brock, Buchholz lead Red Sox over Braves
ATLANTA -- Brock Holt led the Red Sox to a win over the Braves for the second time in three games, going 2-for-4 with a triple, a walk and three runs to help Boston split a two-game set at Turner Field with a 5-2 win Thursday night.
Holt's offensive contributions backed up a strong start from Clay Buchholz, who threw seven innings, and was one glove-flip away from shutting out the Braves. After knocking down a line drive from A.J. Pierzynski in the sixth, Buchholz scrambled off the mound and flipped the ball over the head of David Ortiz at first base, allowing two unearned Atlanta runs to cross the plate.
"There's a lot of people that didn't know who Brock Holt was last year, and he's one of the best players on our club," Buchholz said.
Aside from that defensive miscue, Buchholz was in top form. He struck out three batters, walked one and worked around six hits on 92 pitches. And despite not reaching base in three at-bats, Buchholz helped drive Atlanta starter Shelby Miller's pitch count up with a 10-pitch at-bat in the fifth inning.
Miller cruised through three perfect innings before running into trouble in the fourth inning, when Holt hit a leadoff triple. Holt would later score on an RBI groundout from Ortiz. Miller's start came to an end before the end of the sixth inning, after an error by third baseman Juan Uribe and five hits led to three unearned Boston runs.
"That was obviously a tough inning," Miller said. "I think that's the reason we lost the game."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Holt with another standout night: No Dustin Pedroia, no problem. Just like on Tuesday at Fenway Park, Holt filled in for Pedroia in the leadoff spot and had a big game. Though there was no cycle this time around, Holt jump-started three run-scoring rallies the Red Sox had with either a hit or a walk. In the seventh, Holt drew a two-out walk and roared around from first on a double by Mookie Betts. Holt also broke out the leather, making a fine diving stop to take a hit away from Cameron Maybin to end the seventh. More >
"Obviously we want him [Pedroia] in every game possible," Holt said. "Whenever it's my turn to play second and hit first, I go out and do my best."
Uribe's dropped popup: Uribe has impressed with his defense since being acquired from the Dodgers, but his sixth-inning dropped popup in foul territory gave Red Sox center fielder Betts new life at the plate and led to a three-run inning from Boston, which chased Miller from the game.
"We got him behind the 8-ball there on the fly ball we dropped," said Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez, "and then it just kind of kept rolling."
Buchholz scrappy with bat: Buchholz threw just 92 pitches over seven innings in one of his most efficient starts of the season. On the other side of the ball, he helped take away from Miller's efficiency. In the fifth, Buchholz worked Miller for 10 pitches before striking out, and manager John Farrell called it one of the key at-bats of the game. More >
"Yeah, I mean, I don't get to do that very often. He got me in swing mode, and I just happened to foul some pitches off," Buchholz said. "Shelby's got some really good stuff. Facing another pitcher, all you want to do is basically throw strikes, and sometimes it's hard to do that."
"Just bad pitching. Obviously things didn't go our way, but at the same time we're still in the ballgame. If that [sixth] inning doesn't happen, [if] I get out of it when we get that double play it's a 2-2 game instead of 4-2." -- Miller, on Atlanta's breakdown in the sixth, which led to three unearned runs.
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Buchholz hasn't allowed an earned run in his last 15 innings of Interleague Play, dating back to Sept. 17, 2014, at Pittsburgh.
Freddie Freeman's streak of 234 consecutive games played -- which was a Major League best -- was snapped Thursday night, as the Braves first baseman missed the finale with a sprained right wrist.
Nick Markakis, on the other hand, set the all-time Major League outfield record with 393 straight errorless games. More >
Red Sox: The Red Sox will open a three-game series on Friday night at 8:10 p.m. ET in Kansas City, with lefty Eduardo Rodriguez getting the start. Rodriguez was brilliant in his first three starts before getting belted around by the Blue Jays last time out.
Braves: The Braves welcome the Mets to Turner Field on Friday night for the first of a three-game series at 7:35 p.m. Matt Wisler, called up Thursday night, will make his MLB debut. Atlanta lost two of three to the Mets in a three-game series in New York last week.
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