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Ortiz powers Red Sox past reeling Braves

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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ATLANTA -- For a guy who was scheduled to have a day off, David Ortiz did just fine.

Ortiz and Kevin Youkilis each hit solo home runs to power the Boston Red Sox to a 5-3 win over the struggling Atlanta Braves on Saturday.

The win, coupled with the New York Yankees' 11-9 loss to Washington, boosted the Sox into a first-place tie with the Yankees in the AL East.

Ortiz, who is Boston's designated hitter against American League teams, also played first base in addition to adding an RBI double and a walk. Manager Terry Francona told Ortiz after Friday night's win that he would get a day of rest.

But when Manny Ramirez woke up with a stiff knee, Ortiz was needed to play. Youkilis, the regular first baseman, started in left field.

"I guess it was not a bad day," Ortiz said.

When asked what his reaction was when told he had to play, Ortiz said, "No big deal. If I got to play, I got to play."

In the field, he made a fine stop of a hard grounder by Jeff Francoeur in the fourth.

"I'm out there occasionally. I do the best I can, but the DH is my role," Ortiz said.

Boston starter Josh Beckett (8-3) went six innings, allowing three hits and two walks with five strikeouts. He also had an RBI single in the fourth, helping send the Braves to their season-high sixth straight loss. Jonathan Papelbon worked a perfect ninth inning for his 22nd save in 23 chances.

Atlanta, which has won a record 14 straight division titles, lost for the 16th time in 19 games and fell to 30-39 and into fourth place in the NL East, one-half game behind Washington. The Braves haven't been that far under .500 since the end of the 1990 season, when they finished 67-95 and 26 games back.

Youkilis homered to lead off the game, and Ortiz had an RBI double in a two-run third off Braves starter Lance Courmier (2-2). Ortiz, who scored on Trot Nixon's single, added his 19th homer and AL-leading 59th RBI to start the fifth off Mike Remlinger, giving the Red Sox a 5-1 lead.

Alex Gonzalez went 3-for-4 as the Red Sox won their second straight over the Braves after losing a season-high four in a row.

The Braves scored in the fourth when Andruw Jones' single drove in Edgar Renteria, who had walked and went to second on a balk.

"We've been in this before, not that many games back, but we've been in situations where we lost a lot of games in a row and didn't play good baseball," Jones said. "I think everybody's trying to be too perfect, hitting-wise and pitching-wise."

Beckett worked out of a bases-loaded one-out jam in the fifth, allowing one run. Matt Diaz and pinch-hitter Pete Orr singled before Beckett walked Marcus Giles and Renteria on eight (straight) pitches, forcing in Diaz. Beckett then retired Wilson Betamit and Jones on infield popups.

"I stuttered a little bit late but it was nice to get those two big outs," Beckett said. "I was up, up, up with everything but I made an adjustment and got a couple pops."

The Braves added a run in the eighth on a sacrifice fly by Francoeur.

Notes

  • Friday night's opener of the three-game set was the largest of the season and sixth-largest regular-season crowd (51,038) in Turner Field history. Saturday's crowd of 49,364 was a sellout also.
  • Atlanta 3B Chipper Jones had a sore right thumb and felt ill before the game so he was scratched from the starting lineup. He was replaced by Betamit.
  • Boston LF Manny Ramirez, who is in an 0-for-17 slump, also didn't start because of a stiff knee.
  • The crowd appeared to be dominated by Red Sox fans, who were especially loud in the eighth inning when they chanted "Let's go Red Sox" several times. In addition, whenever Youkilis batted or fielded a ball, the crowd would yell "You, You, You."
  • Gonzalez tied a club record with his 48th straight game without an error.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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It doesn't work out for Kevin Youkilis on this swing, but he catches a break with a first-inning homer.  (AP)
It doesn't work out for Kevin Youkilis on this swing, but he catches a break with a first-inning homer. (AP)

Players of the Game
Atlanta

A. Jones
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 0
RBI 1
Boston

D. Ortiz
AB 3
R 2
H 2
HR 1
RBI 2
 
Boston Red Sox
Kevin Youkilis, LF-1B4111114 .318
Mark Loretta, 2B4120112 .297
David Ortiz, 1B3222100 .264
    Manny Delcarmen, P0000000 .000
    Julian Tavarez, P0000000 .000
    Javier Lopez, P0000000 .000
   a- J.T. Snow, PH0000100 .209
    Willie Harris, PR0000000 .167
    Jonathan Papelbon, P0000000 .000
Trot Nixon, RF5011001 .317
Jason Varitek, C3000201 .258
Mike Lowell, 3B5010005 .314
Coco Crisp, CF5000004 .262
Alex Gonzalez, SS4130000 .249
Josh Beckett, P3011021 .429
    Gabe Kapler, LF10100001.000
Totals3751256418 
a-walked for Lopez in the 9th
Batting
2B - Mark Loretta (14, Cormier), David Ortiz (13, Cormier), Mike Lowell (25, Remlinger), Alex Gonzalez (8, Cormier)
HR - Kevin Youkilis (8, Cormier), David Ortiz (19, Remlinger)
RBI - Kevin Youkilis (30), David Ortiz 2 (59), Trot Nixon (36), Josh Beckett (3)
Team LOB - 11
Boston Red Sox
Josh Beckett (W,8-3) 6322450 5.09
Manny Delcarmen (H,2) 0.2100120 4.97
Julian Tavarez (H,1) 1111010 6.03
Javier Lopez (H,1) 0.1000010 0.00
Jonathan Papelbon (S,22) 1000010 0.26
WP - Josh Beckett (5)
Pitches-Strikes - Josh Beckett 96-50, Manny Delcarmen 21-11, Julian Tavarez 12-8, Jonathan Papelbon 11-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Josh Beckett 3-10
Batters Faced - Josh Beckett 25, Manny Delcarmen 4, Julian Tavarez 4, Javier Lopez 1, Jonathan Papelbon 3
Atlanta Braves
Marcus Giles, 2B4010111 .241
Edgar Renteria, SS2101212 .318
Wilson Betemit, 3B4000026 .281
Andruw Jones, CF4121003 .271
Brian McCann, C4000022 .352
Jeff Francoeur, RF3001011 .243
Adam LaRoche, 1B4000010 .243
Matt Diaz, LF3110110 .356
Lance Cormier, P1000011 .000
    Mike Remlinger, P0000000 .000
   a- Pete Orr, PH1010000 .215
    Phil Stockman, P0000000 .000
    Macay McBride, P0000000 .000
   b- Ryan Langerhans, PH0000100 .246
    Tyler Yates, P0000000 .000
    Kenny Ray, P0000000 .000
   c- Todd Pratt, PH1000000 .200
Totals3135351016 
a-singled for Remlinger in the 5th
b-walked for McBride in the 7th
c-flied out for Ray in the 9th
Batting
2B - Andruw Jones (12, Tavarez)
SF - Jeff Francoeur (3)
RBI - Edgar Renteria (29), Andruw Jones (58), Jeff Francoeur (48)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - Giles-Renteria-LaRoche, Giles-Renteria-LaRoche
Atlanta Braves
Lance Cormier (L,2-2) 4744311 6.57
Mike Remlinger 1211001 3.74
Phil Stockman 1000120 0.00
Macay McBride 1000000 3.60
Tyler Yates 1200010 3.86
Kenny Ray 1100200 2.84
IBB - Varitek by Kenny Ray
Pitches-Strikes - Lance Cormier 74-43, Mike Remlinger 22-14, Phil Stockman 20-12, Macay McBride 6-6, Tyler Yates 17-11, Kenny Ray 23-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Lance Cormier 7-2, Mike Remlinger 1-2, Macay McBride 2-1, Kenny Ray 2-1
Batters Faced - Lance Cormier 20, Mike Remlinger 5, Phil Stockman 4, Macay McBride 3, Tyler Yates 5, Kenny Ray 6
Game Information
Attendance - 49364
Game Time - 3:13
Temperature - 84
Umpires - Home - Mike Winters, First Base - Brian Runge, Second Base - Paul Emmel, Third Base - Bruce Froemming