Mitch Moreland hit a go-ahead, two-run double in the sixth inning, Andrew Benintendi finished a double shy of a cycle with three RBIs and the host Boston Red Sox beat the Atlanta Braves 8-6 on Saturday in the second of a three-game series.
Benintendi (3-for-4) hit a solo homer and two-run triple. Xander Bogaerts, Christian Vazquez and Blake Swihart had one RBI apiece as Boston won for the eighth time in 10 games. The Red Sox also won Friday’s series opener, 6-2.
Dansby Swanson hit a two-run homer and Ronald Acuna Jr. had a solo shot for Atlanta. Freddie Freeman, Nick Markakis and Kurt Suzuki each drove in a run for the Braves, who suffered their third straight loss and their fifth in eight games.
Steven Wright (1-0) got the win after three scoreless innings with one walk and a strikeout. Braves reliever Sam Freeman (1-2) was charged with the loss after allowing Moreland’s double in 2/3 of an inning.
A native of nearby Brockton, Mass., Braves left-hander Sean Newcomb made his first career start at Fenway Park. Newcomb allowed three runs on six hits with four walks and four strikeouts over three innings.
Red Sox starter Drew Pomeranz gave up five runs on six hits with three walks and three strikeouts in 3 1/3 innings.
Boston second baseman Dustin Pedroia made his season debut after missing the first 51 games of the season while recovering from left knee surgery. The former American League MVP batted sixth, going 0-for-4 with a walk and a run.
Pedroia’s first at-bat, with the bases loaded and two outs in the first inning, was preceded by a standing ovation. However, Newcomb was able to coax an inning-ending flyout to right field from Pedroia.
Swanson stroked his two-run shot to left center in the second to make it 2-0. Suzuki’s RBI double an inning later gave Atlanta a three-run lead. A trio of RBI singles from Bogaerts, Swihart and Vazquez in the third tied it.
Freeman’s RBI single and Markakis’ sacrifice fly in the fourth restored the Braves’ two-run lead. Benintendi’s homer to straightaway center in the fourth made it 5-4 before Moreland’s double put Boston ahead.
Benintendi’s three-bagger to right in the seventh gave the Red Sox a three-run lead.
Acuna homered to lead off the ninth against former Braves closer Craig Kimbrel, who recovered to record his 16th save.
—Field Level Media