The Boston Red Sox (21-29) take on the Atlanta Braves (28-22) for the final game of the series in Atlanta before the teams head to Fenway to play two more. Boston got a much needed win yesterday to snap a 10-game losing streak behind a resurgent effort from the slumping David Ortiz. Big Papi hit a three-run Home Run to tie the game in the 5th inning and drove in the winning run with a sac fly in the 7th.
The win was no thanks to Clay Buchholz, who was hammered for 6 runs in only 3 innings of work, while walking a career high 8 batters. Credit the bullpen for bailing him out with 6 scoreless relief innings, which allowed the offense to stage a comeback.
- The Red Sox will try to build on yesterday's win by sending their ace to the mound. Jon Lester (4-6, 3.36 ERA) is coming off his worst start of the season, where he gave up 7 runs in 6.1 innings. Expect him to rebound with David Ross behind the plate.
- David Ortiz had only 1 hit (a single) in his last 22 at bats before mashing the game tying Home Run.
- With these past two games being played in an NL stadium, Ortiz has been playing first base. It's certainly not ideal for the long time DH, but Mike Napoli being on the DL makes shuffling the lineup for interleague games easier.
- Aaron Harang (3-3, 3.32 ERA) got off to a dominant start to the season for the Braves, posting an 0.85 ERA through his first 5 starts in which he gave up 1 run or less in each of them. After getting lit up for 9 runs in an April 30th loss to Miami, Harang has come back down to Earth a bit, but remains a solid starter.
- Braves 1B Freddie Freeman gave the team a scare just before yesterday's game started when he appeared to limp around the infield after a botched attempt to pick a throw out of the dirt during warm ups. He remained in the lineup and went 0-2, but walked 3 times and scored twice. Freeman leads the Braves with a .303 average and .395 OBP.
- B.J. Upton signed a 5-year, $75.25 million contract – the highest ever given to a free agent by the Braves – prior to last season, but it didn't take long for him to make the team regret it. Upton batted a career worst .184 last season and was benched down the stretch. The Braves believe they may have corrected his issues by having him wear prescription glasses so he can see the ball better. What a concept – it's easier to hit the ball when you can actually see! Upton began wearing the glasses near the end of April and claims there is noticeable improvement. After batting .222 in April, Upton is hitting .208 so far in May. So much for the improvement.