For the first time since May 15, the Red Sox can actually say they won their last game heading into tonight’s matchup with the Atlanta Braves, having snapped their 10-game losing streak with an 8-6 win Monday at Turner Field.
Now the team is looking to build off the victory, hoping to now win back-to-back games since they took the last two of a three-game set in Texas on May 11 and 12.
Jon Lester is on the hill for the Red Sox, looking for his fifth win of the year in his 11th start. In his last outing on May 22, he got shellacked and allowed seven runs in the first two innings to the Blue Jays, but settled down and allowed only three hits over the next 4.1 frames. In addition to his four wins, Lester has six losses on the year with a 3.36 ERA.
As the Red Sox only face the Braves every two years or so in interleague play, Jon Lester doesn’t have a ton of experience facing Atlanta, having faced them twice, going 1-1 with a 2.77 ERA. Of the Braves lineup, B.J. Upton has the most experience against Lester due to his years with the Tampa Bay Rays, facing Lester 66 times and recording 13 hits, including three home runs, and four walks. Gerald Laird is the only other Brave to have double digit at bats against Lester, getting three hits in 14 career at bats.
Opposing Lester will be Aaron Harang, who is 4-4 with a 3.56 ERA in 10 starts for the Braves in 2014. In his last outing, he gave up four runs on nine hits in 5.1 innings to the Milwaukee Brewers in a 5-4 Atlanta win.
Four members of the 2014 Red Sox have face Harang more than a dozen times in their careers, but two of them – Jonathan Herrera and A.J. Pierzynski – are not in the starting lineup. Grady Sizemore has 22 career at bats against Harang, hitting .409 with three doubles, while David Ross has four hits in 12 at bats against him, including three home runs and five RBIs. David Ortiz, who will be playing first base again, has five hits in nine career at bats versus Harang with a home run and six RBIs.