The Red Sox are out to get back on a winning track as they take on Randall Delgado and the Braves in game two of their three-game set.
We'll keep you up-to-date on all the action as it goes down in Fenway Park.
Red Sox 8, Braves 4, Final -- After two quick outs in the ninth for Alfredo Aceves, Michael Bourn again tries to beat out a ground ball to first. This time Adrian is first to the bag, however, ending the game and putting the Sox back to three games over .500.
Red Sox 8, Braves 4, End 8th -- Fredi Gonzalez finds his most effective relief performance of the night too late, as Kris Medlen strikes out Saltalamacchia and Adrian Gonzalez in a 1-2-3 eighth.
Red Sox 8, Braves 4, Mid 8th -- Vicente Padilla has a fun inning, dropping some Eephus pitches for a strike to Dan Uggla, a single from Freddie Freeman, and a ground ball out from Jason Heyward that ends the inning. Given that he's also throwing 92-93 MPH fastballs, that's quite the change of pace.
Red Sox 8, Braves 4, End 7th -- Atlanta has chased this game like it's Game 7 of the World Series, but it might have finally gotten away from them in the seventh. Cody Ross gets things started with one out, hitting a loud fly ball that sounds like it's going to go for a homer but ends up just catching some wall in left-center field for a double. A walk to Ryan Kalish puts two men on, and spells the end to Anthony Varvaro's night.
In comes Jonny Venter, and you can just tell that it's not his night. While he does strike out Mike Aviles, it comes with two pitches spiked directly into the dirt--we're talking Cricket bowling here. With one of the two lawn darts bouncing up and well away from home plate, both runners advance, putting two men in scoring position for Daniel Nava, who does what he does best and knocks a single into right field on a sinker low-and-away that just doesn't get far enough from Nava. Both runners score, and all the good work of the last couple innings is undone for Atlanta in an instant.
Red Sox 6, Braves 4, Mid 7th -- The Braves are the ones who get to feel the sting of an inning falling short after early promise, and it comes appropriately enough on a well-hit double play ball, reminiscent of David Ortiz' from back in the fourth. After Scott Atchison surrendered a bunt single, double down the left field line, and walk to bring a run in and put men on the corners with just one out. This prompts Bobby Valentine to turn to Andrew Miller, and Miller comes through with--if not a great pitch--then at least some great luck. A soft line drive off the bat of Dan Uggla goes straight to Adrian Gonzalez, who touches first in stride to wipe out the threat in a hurry.
Red Sox 6, Braves 3, End 6th -- The Braves finally get a solid run of lockdown pitching. After walking Dustin Pedroia to start the frame, Varvaro quickly induces a pop up from David Ortiz and then gets both Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Adrian Gonzalez on strikes to end the frame.
Red Sox 6, Braves 3, Mid 6th -- Perhaps tiring a bit late, Franklin Morales finally looks vulnerable again in the sixth. After striking out Brian McCann to start the inning, Morales sees a ground ball get through the left side of the infield for a single. Another strikeout, this time of Freddi Freeman, gets Morales one out away from a scoreless frame, but he can't keep Chipper Jones down. An 0-1 fastball catches too much of the plate, and Jones doesn't miss it, coming just about a foot short of a homer as he plants it off the short bullpen wall in right. Uggla comes around to score the third Braves run in what is still very much a game.
Red Sox 6, Braves 2, End 5th -- Just as soon as the Braves score, the Red Sox take it right back. And, much like in the second, it's only due to a timely call to the pen from Fredi Gonzalez that this is still a game. With Adrian Gonzalez, Will Middlebrooks, and Cody Ross leading off the inning with two singles and a double respectively, the Sox have a run in and two men in scoring position with zero outs. Martinez manages to get a strikeout of Ryan Kalish, then Gonzalez goes to Anthony Varvaro, who strikes out Mike Aviles and gets a ground ball from Daniel Nava to strand both runners.
Red Sox 5, Braves 2, Mid 5th -- The Braves strike for the first time since the first inning, but Morales can't really be blamed. Jason Heyward leads off the inning with a nearly perfect bunt, and is given second when Morales throws the ball past Adrian Gonzalez. A gutsy decision to move to third on a pop fly caught by Adrian Gonzalez over the tarp works out for Heyward, and Bourn gets the first really solid hit off of Morales in four innings by hitting a sharp ground ball into left to score Heyward.
Red Sox 5, Braves 1, End 4th -- Some bad luck keeps the Red Sox off the board for the first time tonight. After Dustin Pedroia laces his third hit of the night back up the middle, David Ortiz quickly hits a rocket that makes its way right to Freddi Freeman, who picks it in the air and steps on first for the double play. Jarrod Saltalamacchia also gets excellent contact, but hits it right to Jason Heyward. That's one of the worst 1-2-3 innings you'll ever see pitched in the MLB.
Red Sox 5, Braves 1, Mid 4th -- After getting yet another ground ball from Dan Uggla, Morales decides he's bored of that sort of thing and goes back to the strikeouts. This time it takes him slightly longer to get the job done, needing eight pitches rather than seven, but sure enough Freddie Freeman and Chipper Jones each fail to catch up to Morales' mid-90s fastball.
Red Sox 5, Braves 1, End 3rd -- At some point pitchers may realize they can't try and get one by Will Middlebrooks. So far, however, that hasn't happened. Martinez tries to get ahead with the first pitch of the inning, and the scorching hot third baseman makes him pay, launching a high fly ball that quickly gets into the second row of Monster seats to make it 5-1. Only a pair of impressive catches, robbing at least three total bases from a combination of Ryan Kalish and Daniel Nava keeps the Braves from suffering further damage.
Red Sox 4, Braves 1, Mid 3rd -- How often does a first baseman have to charge a routine ground ball just to make the play at first? Michael Bourn forces the issue by bolting from the box and getting down the line at incredible speed, leaving Gonzalez and Morales both rushing to get to the bag. Despite neither one getting a late break, Bourn wins the race with a head-first slide.
It's an impressive bit of athleticism from the Braves' outfielder, but it doesn't end up having the least impact on the inning. Four pitches later, and the Sox have two outs as Franklin Morales utilizes the changeup to get a double play ball from Martin Prado before ending the inning with another ground ball from Brian McCann.
Red Sox 4, Braves 1, End 2nd -- Fredi Gonzalez is not going to let this one get away without a fight. Just two innings into the game, and starter Randall Delgado is already out of the game after a bad start to the second inning. After receiving a perhaps generous strikeout call against Ryan Kalish, Delgado gives up a single into center field to Mike Aviles, and then catches Daniel Nava square on the knee with a misplaced breaking ball to put two men on.
What happens next is something Sox fans have been dying to see more of, as Dustin Pedroia reaches down and away and still makes good contact, dropping a double into the gap to score both baserunners with his second hit of the night.
Unfortunately, the other beleaguered superstar on the team cannot deliver. After walks to David Ortiz and Jarrod Saltalamacchia (the former intentional) load the bases, Fredi Gonzalez turns to Christhian Martinez to take on Adrian Gonzalez, and gets all he could have hoped for: an easy double play ball that gets the Braves out of the inning.
Red Sox 2, Braves 1, Mid 2nd -- Franklin Morales is well-and-truly settled in now, it seems. After getting Jason Heyward to lift a lazy fly ball to right field, Morales once again needs just seven pitches to strike out two batters, with both David Ross and Andrelton Simmons finding themselves blown away by mid-90s challenges from the southpaw.
Red Sox 2, Braves 1, End 1st -- After being shut down for the better part of eight innings Friday, the Sox waste no time at all getting on the board against Randall Delgado. A one-out single up-the-middle from Dustin Pedroia provides the first Boston baserunner of the night, and a base knock through the right side of the infield by Jarrod Saltalamacchia provides the second. Adrian Gonzalez works a long battle, but on the eight pitch cranks a low line drive just past the infield dirt for another single.
Not only does Gonzalez' hit score Pedroia, bringing the Sox equal at 1-1, but it also brings the hottest man on the team to the plate in Will Middlebrooks. Getting ahead 3-1, Middlebrooks gets the pitch he was looking for, and turns on a hittable fastball, planting it off the Mosnter for an RBI double that gives Boston the 2-1 lead.
Braves 1, Red Sox 0, Mid 1st -- Franklin Morales manages to settle down after a very ugly start, keeping the score from getting too bad in the first. It took until just the second pitch of the game for the Braves to create strong contact, with a line drive to center field getting Michael Bourn to first base. Walking Martin Prado on five pitches immediately thereafter, Morales quickly saw the situation get worse as both runners advanced on a double steal.
While the run would end up coming in on a ground ball which Dustin Pedroia could only snag in a snow cone, unable to make the transfer cleanly and allowing Brian McCann to reach, it was arguably the start of Morales' rebound. Changeups get both Dan Uggla and Freddie Freeman to go down swinging on a combined seven pitches, and Aviles makes up for Morales' bad luck with Pedroia by snagging a line drive to end the threat.