Final: Red Sox 8, Braves 4: Two flyouts and a groundout, and the Sox are back on the winning track. Morales picks up his first win of the season with another solid start, and Middlebrooks and Pedroia each go 3 for 4. Boston moves to 37-34.
Bottom 8th: Red Sox 8, Braves 4: Medlen makes quick work of Ortiz (grounder to second), Salty (K swinging) and Gonzalez (K swinging). Aceves out of the pen for the save.
Top 8th: Red Sox 8, Braves 4: Padilla might have set a new personal best this inning with a 49-mph eephus pitch that Freeman waited roughly 3 minutes for before driving it to left. He got around it with two flyouts and a weak grounder on…yes…another eephus pitch. But he topped 50 mph on that one, so there’s that.
Bottom 7th: Red Sox 8, Braves 4: The Sox get some insurance off the Atlanta pen after Ross hits his second straight double, this time off the top of the Monster above the 379-foot sign and Kalish walks (up until that point, he was the only Sox player to not reach base tonight). They moved up on a wild pitch and scored on a Nava single to right.
Pedroia and Middlebrooks, each 3 for 3 entering the inning, both grounded out.
Top 7th: Red Sox 6, Braves 4: Atchison’s scoreless streak ends at 6.2 innings as Ross beats out an infield single, Simmons doubles down the left-field line and Bourn hits an RBI groundout to first. Atchison’s night ends after he walks Prado.
With Andrew Miller on the mound, an exact replica of Ortiz’s fourth-inning lineout occurs as Gonzalez snares one off McCann’s bat and steps on first to end the frame.
Bottom 6th: Red Sox 6, Braves 3: Varvaro gets around a leadoff walk to Pedroia (who, by the way, is now 3 for 3 with a walk) by getting Ortiz to pop out to third, and striking out both Salty and Gonzalez swinging.
Franklin Morales is done. Scott Atchison on for the Sox.
Morales’ line: 6.0 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 8 SO, 86 pitches, 62 strikes.
Top 6th: Red Sox 6, Braves 3: Alternating strikeouts with hits, Morales gets McCann looking, gives up an Uggla single, whiffs Freeman swinging and then allows a double to right-center by Chipper Jones. Morales holds strong, shattering Heyward’s bat on a foul ball then getting him to weakly ground out to first.
Bottom 5th: Red Sox 6, Braves 2: Here come the bats. Three straight hits from Gonzalez, Middlebrooks (who is now a triple short of the cycle) and Ross give the Sox another run.
Martinez exited after striking out Kalish, giving way to Varvaro who got Aviles swinging and Nava to ground out to second.
Top 5th: Red Sox 5, Braves 2: Heyward hit a dribbler down the third-base line that Morales threw away past Gonzalez for a single and a one-base error. Heyward tagged up and moved to third on a Ross popout to Gonzalez, and scored on a Bourn single.
After Bourn’s single, a trainer and Bobby V came out to check on Morales. He stayed in the game and got Prado to fly out to right.
Bottom 4th: Red Sox 5, Braves 1: Pedroia has his first 3-hit game since May 11 vs. Cleveland, but gets doubled up at first on a hard Papi liner that made a beeline straight for Freeman’s glove. Salty turns Heyward around on a deep fly, but the ball had just enough air under it to allow the right fielder to recover.
Top 4th: Red Sox 5, Braves 1: Morales still hitting 96 mph on the gun as he strikes out Freeman and Jones swinging. That makes six strikeouts through four innings. He may very well pass the 9 Ks he had in his last start.
Bottom 3rd: Red Sox 5, Braves 1: Yes, yes, Will Middlebrooks, we get it. You’re on fire. Understood. Atlanta’s outfielders never moved as the rookie parks one into the Monster to pad the Sox lead.
After a Ross strikeout and a hard Kalish liner on which Heyward made a nice diving play, Aviles doubled down the left-field line. Nava then cranked another hard liner to right that Heyward ran down, this time standing up.
Top 3rd: Red Sox 4, Braves 1: While Delgado faltered, Morales is getting stronger. The speedy Bourn beat Gonzalez to the bag at first for an infield single to lead off the inning, then Morales got Prado to ground into a 6-4-3 double play.
Bottom 2nd: Red Sox 4, Braves 1: Bobby V’s prediction that Pedroia would soon be “hotter than a firecracker” is coming to fruition. Pedroia whacked a double to the left-center gap, scoring Aviles (single) and Nava (hit by pitch). Nava got a great jump and scored from first. After an intentional walk to Papi and a five-pitch pass to Salty, Delgado is yanked in favor of Cristhian Martinez.
Martinez gets Gonzalez to ground into a bases-loaded, inning-ending double play, stopping the rally.
Delgado’s final line: 1.1 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 2 BB, 1 SO, 1 HBP, 56 pitches, 29 strikes.
Top 2nd: Red Sox 2, Braves 1: Morales settles into a nice groove, getting Heyward to fly out to right, and striking out both Ross and Simmons swinging on fastballs dialed up to 96 mph.
Bottom 1st: Red Sox 2, Braves 1: The Sox engage in a nice game of “anything you can do, we can do better.” Pedroia singles up the middle, snapping an 0 for 11 slide and moves to third on a Salty single. Gonzalez then smacked an RBI single and Middlebrooks cranked a double off the Monster for his 10th RBI in his past seven games.
Top 1st: Braves 1, Red Sox 0: Morales digs himself into a hole early, giving up a leadoff single to Bourn and walking Prado, Morales’ first free pass since May 31. Bourn and Prado got great jumps on a breaking ball for a double steal, and McCann singled home the game’s first run.
But two swinging strikeouts and a sharp lineout to short, and Morales minimizes the damage.
Pregame: The five-game winning streak over thanks to Jair Jurrjens’ performance Friday night, the Sox send Franklin Morales (0-1, 3.14 ERA) to the mound Saturday against the Braves, who counter with righty Randall Delgado (4-7, 4.12 ERA).
Internin’ Alex Prewitt has your live updates on the blog. As always, friends, please comment away during the game. Enjoy.