Red Sox - 100 100 400 - 6 12 0 Atlanta - 101 010 000 - 3 10 1David Ortiz's opposite-field bloop single snapped a 3-3 tie in the seventh inning and Jackie Bradley singled home two insurance runs later in the inning.
Jon Lester's outing was rough (6-8-3-3-7, 111) as Atlanta put the leadoff man on base in four of the first five innings, and three of them scored. A quartet of relievers - Craig Breslow, Junichi Tazawa, Andrew Miller, and Koji Uehara - kept the opposition off the board for the final three innings, with Miller and Koji combining to strike out four of the final five batters.
Brock Holt singled to begin the night. He went to second on an infield error, took third on a wild pitch, and scored on Dustin Pedroia's sac fly. In the bottom half, Jason Heyward crushed Lester's fourth pitch of the night to deep right-center to tie the game at 1-1.
Atlanta took the lead when B.J. Upton led off the third with a double and scored on a sac fly. But the Red Sox immediately tied it up. Grady Sizemore ripped a one-out double into the right-field corner and stole third on the first pitch to David Ross. The safe call was challenged - and upheld. Ross then smacked the next pitch to left-center for a game-tying single (2-2).
Lester was hit for a leadoff triple by Freddie Freeman in the fifth and Freeman later scored on a fielder's choice that fell into short right field.
With Aaron Harang (6-7-2-1-7, 106) out of the way after six innings, Boston went to work against the Atlanta bullpen. With one out, Xander Bogaerts lined a single to left off Anthony Varvaro, and Pedroia looped a single to right. Luis Avilan came in and gave up Ortiz's game-tying hit. Then Jonny Gomes lofted a pop to short right that fell in for another hit, loading the bases. Sizemore grounded back to the mound, but the ball went off Avilan's glove; Andrelton Simmons was able to make a bare-handed play, but Pedroia scored. (Poor infield fielding helped Boston all night.)
After Ross was intentionally walked (re-loading the bases), Bradley grounded a single under Chris Johnson's glove at third base into left field. Two more runs cross the plate. After another call to the 'pen, pinch-hitter Mike Carp was hit by a pitch to (again) load the bases. But Holt, who began the inning by grounding to second, did the same thing to end it.
Atlanta promptly put two men on with two outs in the seventh, but Johnson fouled out to right, as Gomes caught the ball after a long run. A leadoff walk in the eighth went for naught and Koji retired the side in order in the ninth.
Holt, 3BRob Bradford reports that the Red Sox are exploring the trade market for outfielders. Jackie Bradley (.193/.280/.283) and Grady Sizemore (.221/.291/.353) have been black holes in the lineup, and Shane Victorino - currently on the DL with a strained right hamstring - has a worse on-base percentage than either JBJ or Sizemore (.276).
Boston's centerfielders are the worst among the 15 AL teams in average (.181) and OBP (.284), and next-to-last in slugging (.281). Their left fielders are 10th or 11th in those categories, while the right fielders are either 13th or 14th.
Clay Buchholz (7.02 ERA) may not make his next scheduled start. John Farrell: "We've got to look at this a little bit closer ... what he's currently going through and what's best for him and certainly what's best for us."
Ben Cherington met with the media on Monday to discuss the slumping Red Sox. "[W]e're deep enough into the season where, again, we know our limitations ... We have to look at every avenue to get better."
The Red Sox last won back-to-back games on May 10-11.