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Thursday, May 29, 2014

It's The Little Things: Red Sox Pick Up Their 1st 3-Game Win Streak of 2014

Don't look now but there might actually be a reason to tune into the Red Sox this summer besides new material to use to make fun of them. After losing 10 games in a row, Boston (23-29 overall, 11-17 home) has begun to find some stability with three straight wins (last team in MLB to do that) vs. fraudulent Atlanta (28-24 overall, 10-12 away). Tonight, the 2004 Red Sox were honored at Fenway Park (for the second time, don't forget 2008) which served as the perfect opener for a solid 4-0 win by the current iteration over the Braves.

John Lackey (6-3) was excellent (6.1 IP, 0 earned runs, 8 hits, 9 strikeouts, 0 walks) and three relievers got the final eight outs. Neither Lackey nor Jon Lester are aces in the true sense but at least Lackey has been the stopper so far this season when the Red Sox need it. Chris Capuano got out of a bases loaded jam to end the seventh while Junichi Tazawa had a 1-2-3 eighth with two strikeouts and Craig Breslow pitched a scoreless ninth. Koji Uehara started to get loose in the ninth after Breslow gave up a single but thankfully, he wasn't used for the third game in a row.

Atlanta starter Gavin Floyd (0-2) was fine (5 IP, 2 runs, 1 earned run, 6 hits, 3 strikeouts, 3 walks) except that he racked up pitches (106) at a Dice-K pace. Daniel Nava grounded into a double play in the second but a run scored. A.J. Pierzynski (2 for 4) had an RBI single in the third, Jackie Bradley Jr. (2 for 4) added an RBI double in the sixth and Jonny Gomes (2 for 3, 2 runs, walk) capped it with a run-scoring single in the seventh.

Xander Bogaerts continues to rake as he went 3 for 4 with a double, run and walk. Boston was 5 for 14 with runners and scoring position which made up for leaving 11 men on base. Conversely, Atlanta (who has looked terrible most of this series) was 0 for 6 with runners in scoring position and they left 10 on base.

Boston will look to go 4-0 vs. Atlanta and its second consecutive sweep in this bizarre home and home as Jake Peavy (1-2) faces Mike Minor (2-3) tomorrow night (7:10, NESN). Earlier today, Clay Buchholz was put on the DL with a hyperextended knee (wink wink, nudge nudge). Alex Wilson is back from Pawtucket while headcase Buchholz tries to get his mind right.

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