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Red Sox, Braves shift series to Fenway Park
(SportsNetwork.com) - The series between the Boston Red Sox and Atlanta Braves shifts to Fenway Park Wednesday in the first of back-to-back games.
Boston took both meetings at Atlanta's Turner Field and entered this series on a season-high 10-game losing streak, the longest since an 11-game drought in 1994. The Red Sox battled to an 8-6 win on Monday and scored a 6-3 decision the following night.
The Red Sox used a four-run seventh inning to take the lead for good, as David Ortiz and Jackie Bradley Jr. both stroked RBI singles in the frame and Dustin Pedroia scored in between hits on a Grady Sizemore groundout. Pedroia ended with three hits and an RBI and Bradley drove in two runs for Boston, which will try to stop a six-game home losing streak Wednesday.
"Regardless of who we're going up against, when we created opportunities we felt like it would turn at some point with our ability to get a key hit with men in scoring position," said Boston manager John Farrell. "We were able to do that here in those big innings. The fifth inning yesterday, the seventh tonight. More than anything, our guys are having fun playing the game."
Jon Lester picked up the win and allowed three runs in six innings with seven strikeouts and three walks. Koji Uehara struck out two in the ninth for his 11th save.
The Red Sox have won 16 of the last 21 matchups with Atlanta.
Prior to Wednesday's game at Fenway Park, the Red Sox will hold a ceremony to pay tribute to the 2004 World Series championship team. Among those expected to attend are Johnny Damon, Manny Ramirez, Kevin Millar, Pedro Martinez and Jason Varitek.
John Lackey will try to seize the moment when he takes the mound for Boston tonight and he is 5-3 with a 3.58 earned run average in 10 starts. Lackey did not record a decision in Friday's 1-0 loss at Tampa Bay and he hurled seven scoreless innings. Lackey scattered five hits with three K's and one walk.
Lackey, a right-hander, threw six innings of two-run ball in his only start against the Braves back on June 6, 2005 as a member of the Angels.
Atlanta will play its next five games on the road and went 5-4 on a recent homestand. It had won six of 10 games overall until Tuesday's loss, as Anthony Varvaro allowed the two go-ahead runs in the seventh.
Aaron Harang's six solid innings went to waste and he permitted a pair of runs with seven strikeouts and a walk for the no-decision.
Jason Heyward homered, Justin Upton had three hits and Chris Johnson ended with two RBI for the Braves, who will be on the road for 19 of their 28 games in the month of June. Heyward has hit safely in 13 of the last 15 games.
"Things aren't going our way right now," said Atlanta catcher Gerard Laird. "But Lester made pitches tonight. We had them on the ropes. We just couldn't get the big hit."
Atlanta catcher Evan Gattis was scratched prior to the game with a strained right wrist and is day-to-day. Shortstop Andrelton Simmons left the game with an ankle issue. He has been bothered by the problem for some time.
"I feel OK, hopefully it goes away quick and the inflammation or swelling goes down," Simmons told the club's website Tuesday. "Hopefully, I'll be ready to go tomorrow. ... It's not a terrible pain, it's just a nagging thing."
Gavin Floyd will handle pitching duties for the Braves Wednesday and he is 0-1 in four starts to go along with a 2.49 ERA. Floyd has posted two straight no- decisions and took the mound in Friday's 3-2 win over Colorado, charged with two runs in 6 2/3 innings with seven K's.
The right-handed Floyd has owned the Red Sox in his career, going 7-0 with a 3.21 ERA in nine games (8 starts).
05/28 10:56:25 ET
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