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Gallardo, Brewers blank BoSox to complete sweep
Boston, MA (SportsNetwork.com) - Yovani Gallardo's 6 2/3 scoreless innings paved the way for the Milwaukee Brewers' 4-0 victory over the Boston Red Sox, dealing the defending world champions a three-game sweep in their first home series of the new season.
Aramis Ramirez, Mark Reynolds and Jeff Bianchi all contributed RBI singles to help the Brewers complete their first sweep at Fenway Park since 1993, while Ryan Braun returned from a thumb injury that kept him out of Saturday's matchup to go 2-for-4 with a run scored.
Gallardo (2-0) scattered seven hits and didn't walk a batter in his second straight sharp outing to begin the year. He fired six scoreless frames to defeat Atlanta on Monday's Opening Day.
"His rhythm is really good right now," said Brewers manager Ron Roenicke of Gallardo. "Hopefully he can maintain that, and the bullpen can continue to come in and do the job."
Jon Lester (0-2), meanwhile, was handed a second consecutive tough loss to open 2014 after the Boston ace was reached for four runs -- two of which were unearned -- over 7 1/3 innings. Lester, who was on the short end of a 2-1 decision against Baltimore on Monday, struck out six and walked just one.
The loss marked the first time since 1984 that the Red Sox have dropped three straight at home to start a season.
"Obviously, we didn't play very well," Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia said. "We had a tough series, we'll get back after it tomorrow. We've got to turn the page."
Lester had his fate sealed by a shaky second inning that began when Jonathan Lucroy doubled into the left-field corner and Khris Davis dropped down a bunt single to place men at the corners. Reynolds then delivered a bloop single in which the ball got past Red Sox right fielder Daniel Nava, enabling Davis to follow Lucroy home all the way from first for a 2-0 Brewers' edge.
The Boston ace set down the next 16 Milwaukee hitters until Davis doubled in the seventh, but Gallardo was nearly as stingy in keeping the Brewers' lead intact.
Boston had a pair of runners reach and end up stranded in the bottom of the second, then mustered just two hits off Gallardo over the next four innings.
"In a number of hitter's counts we got into, Gallardo made a good pitch with a sinker to put the ball on the ground," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "But it was more about not being able to bunch any hits together."
Davis' seventh-inning double turned into Milwaukee's third run after Bianchi came through with a two-out single through the left side of the infield.
The Red Sox did send the tying run to the plate in their half of the seventh, with Jackie Bradley Jr. doubling with two out and David Ross chasing Gallardo with an infield single. Zach Duke preserved the shutout bid, however, by inducing Nava to fly out harmlessly to center.
Tyler Thornburg polished off the sweep by fanning three over two scoreless innings, with Milwaukee adding an insurance run in the eighth when Braun singled, stole second, and came around on a Ramirez base hit.
The Red Sox placed third baseman Will Middlebrooks on the 15-day disabled list prior to the game due to a Grade 1 calf strain he suffered while warming up for Saturday's matchup. Infielder Brock Holt was recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket to fill the roster spot ... Milwaukee's last sweep at Fenway took place from Oct. 1-3, 1993, when the Brewers still resided in the American League ... Milwaukee starting pitchers have posted a 1.64 ERA through the team's first six games ... Davis ended 2-for-4 with two runs scored and went 8-for-15 with four doubles in the series ... The Brewers' scheduled game at Philadelphia for Monday was postponed until Tuesday due to the threat of bad weather.
04/06 19:14:27 ET