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Bradley's homer decides Porcello-Teheran duel

April 25, 2016

ATLANTA -- Jackie Bradley Jr.'s solo homer blemished Julio Teheran's best start of the season and provided Rick Porcello all the support he needed while helping the Red Sox claim a 1-0 win over the Braves on Monday night at Turner Field.Bradley's one-out homer in the seventh sunk Teheran, who

ATLANTA -- Jackie Bradley Jr.'s solo homer blemished Julio Teheran's best start of the season and provided Rick Porcello all the support he needed while helping the Red Sox claim a 1-0 win over the Braves on Monday night at Turner Field.
Bradley's one-out homer in the seventh sunk Teheran, who notched a season-high eight strikeouts and scattered six hits over seven innings. Mookie Betts' two-out double in the third inning accounted for one of the three hits recorded through the first six innings by the Red Sox, who didn't arrive at their Atlanta hotel until 5:30 a.m. ET following Sunday night's 12-inning win in Houston.
"Our guys on the mound, they carried it, with Rick setting the tone," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "To get a win tonight with some things working against us -- you go into the National League ballpark, you've got David [Ortiz] out of the lineup; all-night travel, you got some of the guys that need a rest -- so tonight was a big win for us."

Porcello (4-0, 3.51 ERA) scattered four hits over 6 1/3 scoreless innings, while former Atlanta closer Craig Kimbrel completed a scoreless ninth against the Braves, who have lost six straight since snapping their 0-9 start with a four-game winning streak. For Kimbrel, it was sweet revenge after blowing the save on Sunday night.
"I felt like we got in at 6 o'clock this morning because I let us play a few extra innings last night," Kimbrel said. "It was good to see Rick go out there and pitch such a good game and us to get one run across. That's all we needed tonight. To be able to get back out there and do my job and do it effectively is nice."

Bradley does it again: One night after Bradley delivered the go-ahead run with an RBI single in the top of the 12th in a win at Houston, the center fielder again had the biggest hit in the game for the Red Sox. This time, Bradley jumped on Teheran's 1-0 changeup for a solo shot. It was Bradley's first home run of the season.
"Just trying to get some good AB's," said Bradley. "Take advantage of every opportunity you get, and they're precious. You want to get wins early and try to climb the ladder."
A different look: After his strong effort was marred by Bradley's homer and further threatened by a Porcello bunt that was misplayed, Teheran recorded a four-pitch strikeout of Betts and then proved victorious in a 10-pitch battle waged against Xander Bogaerts with two outs and the bases loaded. Bogaerts fouled six pitches before Teheran concluded his 115-pitch night with three consecutive 92-mph fastballs, the last of which was lined into center fielder Mallex Smith's glove to keep the Braves within one run.

"[Teheran] really did a tremendous job," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "I thought that last at-bat in the seventh inning might have been the best matchup I've seen in a long time, Julio making good pitches and the hitter not giving in. [Bogaerts] had a good pass on it and hit a line drive to center field, but I thought [Teheran] earned the opportunity to get to that guy."
Vazquez nails Peterson: Red Sox catcher Christian Vazquez made a strong throw to nail Jace Peterson on a stolen base in the bottom of the fifth. It was significant for Vazquez because it was his first caught-stealing in his comeback from Tommy John surgery. Vazquez had only one chance before Peterson tested him. Vazquez's throw was at 80.1 mph, according to Statcast™.

"You saw me excited, right? It was an exciting moment," Vazquez said. "It was a long time until this moment." More >
No challenge:Jeff Francoeur's one-out double accounted for Atlanta's only extra-base hit and also fueled a seventh-inning rally that was quieted when Freddie Freeman was called out attempting to reach second base on a Drew Stubbs grounder that Dustin Pedroia initially bobbled. Replays showed Freeman got to the bag around the same time as Pedroia's throw, but the Braves opted not to request a review.

Gonzalez had to rely on the information provided by video coordinator Rob Smith, but after viewing the video after the game, he was among the many members of the organization who were not happy that he hadn't been told to challenge. Freeman's postgame frustration was further fueled by the fact a ninth-inning replay review did not confirm his belief that he was hit on the right foot by a Kimbrel slider.

"Since I've seen the replay, I was safe," Freeman said. "But it was just one of those things, where you can see from the ninth inning, MLB has a tough time in New York, because I definitely got hit by that pitch as well. So, obviously they're seeing some things differently in New York, in that they won't overturn calls as easily as they should."
"That was the first time that I've felt like that this year. I felt like I had everything working, other than that one mistake I made in the seventh inning. That is part of the game. I was trying to make that pitch right there. It was a changeup for a strike, and he hit it good." -- Teheran
"I can't imagine what it was like for the guys who played today getting whatever amount of hours of sleep they got. You try not to do too much, but you also understand that everybody is kind of running on a minimal amount of rest. You're just trying to pick them up any way you can." -- Porcello, who flew ahead of the team and arrived in Atlanta at 9:30 p.m. on Sunday night
Porcello has gone six-plus innings in his last 12 starts, dating back to last season. The only pitcher in the Majors with a longer streak at the moment is Jake Arrieta, who has done it in 24 straight starts.
Looking to help Freeman break out of his early-season funk, Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez dropped his first baseman to the sixth spot, marking the first time since July 1, 2012, that Freeman was positioned lower than fifth in the batting order. Freeman laced a second-inning single and beat the shift with a fifth-inning bunt single that pushed his batting average (.203) above the Mendoza mark for the first time since Opening Day. He struck out to end the game, finishing with a .200 average. More >
Red Sox: Lefty ace David Price, coming off one of the worst starts of his career, takes the ball for Tuesday night's 7:10 p.m. ET game against the Braves. Price squandered a 5-1 lead his last time out against the Orioles and gave up eight hits and eight runs over 3 2/3 innings.
Braves:Matt Wisler will take the mound for Atlanta during Tuesday night's finale of this two-game set. Wisler threw a career-high 115 pitches while limiting the Dodgers to one unearned run over 6 2/3 innings on Thursday.

Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for since 2001.

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for since 2002. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne.