MLB

Red Sox take on Braves, Reds visit Dodgers on TSN2

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The Sports Network
5/27/2014 11:41:11 AM
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Having just snapped their longest losing streak in 20 years, the Boston Red Sox will try to make it two in a row Tuesday night when they resume their home-and-away series with the Atlanta Braves.

Watch the game live on TSN2 and TSN GO at 7pm et/4pm pt.

The teams will finish off a two-game set at Turner Field Tuesday night, then head to Fenway Park for two more on Wednesday and Thursday. Boston picked up a much-needed 8-6 victory on Monday to snap a 10-game slide, its longest since an 11-game skid from June 8-19, 1994.

David Ortiz did most of the heavy lifting with a three-run homer that tied the game in the fifth inning, then a sacrifice fly in the seventh to put the Red Sox in front. Dustin Pedroia, who had been struggling along with Ortiz, also drove in a pair of runs and finished 1-for-3.

"In 10 games prior to today, there's one RBI combined (from Pedroia and Ortiz)," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "Today there is six between the two. I think the outcome is directly correlated to their performance. That's not to put it all on them because we had a lot of good at-bats all the way up and down the lineup today. But them being in the middle of the lineup, their contributions are key for us."

The Red Sox used seven different pitchers to get the job done as starter Clay Buchholz was pulled after only three innings as he allowed six runs and a staggering eight walks. Braves starter Ervin Santana went five innings and was also charged with six runs.

"We know we still have the core of a winning team here and we're going to win," Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington said before Monday's win. "But we've got to get there. We've got to focus on today and just try to start playing a little bit better first."

Atlanta has split its last six games overall and currently owns a two-game lead over Miami in the National League East.

The Braves will send veteran Aaron Harang to the mound for Tuesday's game. Harang began the year with a 0.85 ERA through five starts, but he has gone 1-3 with a 6.11 ERA over his last five. He faced Milwaukee last week and gave up four earned runs on nine hits in 5 1/3 innings for a no-decision. It was only the second time in his last 10 starts that Harang gave up more than two earned runs.

Boston will counter with ace Jon Lester, who has yielded three earned runs or fewer in eight of his 10 starts. Like Harang, Lester is coming off a subpar outing as he gave up a season-high seven runs over the first two innings against Toronto.

"I don't think we're excelling in any one area, but I do think we have players capable of excelling and some of that is going to happen naturally," said Cherington. "There are other things that maybe you can do at some point to try to make the whole thing a lot better.

"What we believed this offseason, what we believed in Spring Training, in terms of potential of this team, the position we're in with people in the clubhouse, the depth of the talent -- that hasn't changed. We just have to perform. We have to find ways to perform better, and that's going to come in a number of ways."

Boston has won 15 of the last 20 meetings in the head-to-head series.

Reds at Dodgers, 10pm et/7pm pt (TSN2)

Zack Greinke will try to keep the mound presence going for the Los Angeles Dodgers when they resume a three-game series versus the Cincinnati Reds Tuesday from Chavez Ravine.

Greinke has to follow two superb outings from teammates Josh Beckett and Hyun- Jin Ryu when he makes his 11th start of the season.

Beckett started LA's current pitching trend with a no-hitter Sunday at Philadelphia and retired 23 straight at one point. It was Ryu's turn in Monday's 4-3 win over the Reds and he followed suit by retiring the first 21 batters he faced until Todd Frazier's double in the eighth inning.

Ryu came within six outs of a perfect game and finished with three runs allowed across 7 1/3 innings. The left-hander struck out seven and walked none, and also added an RBI and a run scored. Dodgers manager Don Mattingly believed Ryu running the bases wore him down.

"That long inning hurt him," Mattingly said of Ryu. "It broke the momentum for him. At the end of the night, we got the win."

Kenley Jansen threw 1 1/3 scoreless innings of relief for his 15th save.

Carl Crawford's two-run double highlighted a three-run seventh inning and he finished with two hits for the Dodgers, winners in three of four and eight of their last 13 games. The Dodgers will also host Pittsburgh and Chicago (White Sox) on this 10-game homestand.

Greinke will try to pitch Los Angeles to its third straight win and he is 7-1 in 10 starts with a 2.01 earned run average. Greinke is coming off a no- decision in Thursday's 5-3 loss to the New York Mets and he was tagged for three runs -- one earned -- in five innings.

Greinke snapped his streak of 21 straight starts allowing two runs or fewer. However, he has allowed two or fewer earned runs in a record 22 consecutive regular-season starts since July 30, 2013, going 14-2 with a 1.76 earned run average in that time. He surpassed Roger Clemens' mark of 21 from 1990-91.

The right-hander is 3-0 in four home outings and has a 4-1 record to go along with a 2.62 ERA in eight career starts against Cincinnati.

Cincinnati opened a seven-game western swing with Monday's loss at Dodger Stadium and Frazier was able to spoil the show with his hit in the eighth.

Reds ace Johnny Cueto was dealt the loss for surrendering four runs, one of which was earned, and four hits in 6 1/3 innings. Cueto was outdueled by Ryu and fell to 4-4 with his second straight loss after winning four straight decisions.

After Frazier doubled to start Cincinnati's late rally, Ryan Ludwick singled and Chris Heisey followed with a sacrifice fly to put the visitors on the board. Brayan Pena then singled and Skip Schumaker walked one out later before Billy Hamilton stroked a two-run double.

The Reds had two runners on base in the ninth, but Devin Mesoraco flied out to end the game.

"Our silver lining was we rallied late," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "We have to hang tough. We've played a lot of close games, but unfortunately we've come out on the short end."

Cincinnati has lost three in a row since winning three of four games, and will send Alfredo Simon against Greinke Tuesday night. Simon is 6-2 with a 2.31 earned run average in nine starts and is 5-1 in the past six decisions. He won his second straight start in last Wednesday's 2-1 victory at Washington and delivered seven innings of one-run ball.

Simon struck out six and walked one for the second straight start. He has 14 K's over that span. The right-hander has been strong on the road this season, winning all five assignments, and will make his first career start against the Dodgers. He has allowed one run in 2 1/3 innings of relief (2 games).

LA lost four of seven meetings with the Reds last season. Cincinnati has lost its last two series at Dodger Stadium.

Jon Lester (Photo: Canadian Press)

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(Photo: Canadian Press)
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