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Braves blow lead, Red Sox stop skid

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This May has been an extremely rough month for the defending World Series champion Boston Red Sox. Following a 9-4 victory over Minnesota on May 14, the Red Sox proceeded to lose 10 straight games. On Memorial Day against the Atlanta Braves, the Sox made sure they didn't lose their 11th straight game as they were able to overcome a 6-1 deficit en route to an 8-6 victory.

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It was not a good day to be a starting pitcher for either team as both pitchers gave up six earned runs apiece. Clay Buchholz lasted just three innings which included walking eight Braves (you read that correctly) and giving up four hits in 88 total pitches. Ervin Santana didn't fare much better for Atlanta. Santana lasted five innings, but gave up five hits including a three-run homer against David Ortiz.

That home run by Ortiz, was the perfect example of why Atlanta lost this game. Six of the runs allowed by Atlanta, including the three by the Ortiz home run happened with two outs. Boston was able to capitalize on their scoring chances, leaving just six men stranded on base while converting three of their four scoring opportunities.

It was the exact opposite situation for Atlanta as the Braves weren't able to capitalize on their scoring chances. Despite both Upton brothers hitting doubles (Justin hit a pair of doubles, giving him 11 for the season), Atlanta couldn't bring them home when it mattered. Atlanta left nine men on the bases, including four in scoring position, and was 5-12 with their scoring opportunities. Catcher Gerald Laird was the only Brave to record an RBI with two outs.

After Buchholz' terrible three innings, the Boston bullpen was able to salvage the game as the six additional pitchers shut out the Braves for the rest of the game. These pitchers allowed just four hits, no runs and one walk in 67 additional pitches. Boston's closing pitcher, Koji Uehara, earned his tenth save of the season, but just his second since May 11.

First pitch for the second game of this series is scheduled for 7:10 pm Tuesday at Turner Field.



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