First baseman Steve Pearce, a midseason acquisition by Boston, had three hits and drove in three runs on Tuesday to help the Red Sox beat the host Atlanta Braves 5-1 at SunTrust Park.
Pearce was 3-for-4 with a walk. Since coming over in a June trade with the Toronto Blue Jays, Pearce is batting .296 (29-for-98) with 19 RBIs in 36 games.
Boston (96-44) has won the first two games in the three-game series and improved to 13-3 in interleague games. The Red Sox reduced their magic number for making the playoffs to six.
Atlanta (76-62) saw its lead in the National League East reduced to three games over the Philadelphia Phillies, who defeated the Miami Marlins on Tuesday.
The winning pitcher was Rick Porcello (16-7), who broke a two-game losing streak and won for the first time since Aug. 14. Porcello allowed one run on two hits and one walk in five innings. He struck out five.
The struggles continued for Atlanta starter Sean Newcomb (11-8), who allowed three runs on four hits and five walks in 4 1/3 innings. Over his past five starts, the left-hander is 1-3 with a 7.99 ERA.
The Braves took a 1-0 lead in the second inning when Kurt Suzuki hit a homer, his 10th, to center field.
The Red Sox got to Newcomb for three runs in the fifth. Porcello singled to right, Mookie Betts walked and J.D. Martinez reached on a one-out infield single to load the bases. Xander Bogaerts drew a bases-loaded walk, which got Newcomb out of the game. Reliever Shane Carle allowed an RBI single to Pearce, and Eduardo Nunez got another run home with an infield grounder.
Boston scored two more times against reliever Luke Jackson in the sixth inning on Pearce’s sharp single to left.
Braves shortstop Dansby Swanson left the game in the second inning after being hit in the helmet by a Porcello slider.
Right-hander Kyle Wright, Atlanta’s first-round draft pick in 2017, made his major league debut and pitched two scoreless, hitless innings. he struck out two and walked one.
—Field Level Media