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Boston at Atlanta

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Boston (46-25) «52000013011150
Atlanta (38-35)000000000050

Tavarez pitches gem, BoSox blank Braves

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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ATLANTA -- Four pitches into the game, the Boston Red Sox provided a glimpse of what was to come.

J.D. Drew led off with a homer and the Red Sox went deep four more times to back seven sharp innings by Julian Tavarez, who had it easy in Boston's 11-0 rout of the Atlanta Braves on Wednesday night.

Before the Braves even batted, Coco Crisp hit a three-run homer to give the Red Sox a 5-0 lead. David Ortiz added a two-run shot in the second, while Manny Ramirez and Eric Hinske chipped in late.

The Red Sox tied their season high, having also homered five times April 22 against the New York Yankees. For good measure, Boston also had five doubles in its 15-hit outburst.

"It's always good to get out on top," said Drew, who left the game midway through the second when his right quadriceps tightened up. "I got a ball right in the zone and hit it out of the park. That's always a good feeling for a leadoff hitter."

For Atlanta, it was another dismal night at the plate. The Braves were shut out by the Red Sox on a five-hitter for the second night in a row and haven't scored in 19 innings.

It was the first time since 2003 that Atlanta has been blanked in consecutive games.

"It's tough playing from behind," said Willie Harris, who had one of the hits. "A pitcher is more confident with a lead. He can take more chances with his pitches. Tavarez threw a lot of changeups and sliders and whatever else he was throwing. His ball was moving around a lot."

Making matters worse for the Braves, injury-plagued Chipper Jones left after the fifth with a groin problem.

"It was hurting," said manager Bobby Cox, who didn't know if Jones would miss any games.

Tavarez (5-4) could coast with a seven-run cushion, and that's just what he did in winning his fourth straight. He allowed only three hits and faced the minimum through the first six innings. Harris and Jones reached on singles, but both were erased with double plays.

"This was my best game," Tavarez said. "Everything went right for me."

In the seventh, Atlanta finally got someone into scoring position for the first time all night. But shortstop Julio Lugo fielded a grounder in short left and threw back to second base for an inning-ending force.

Tavarez pumped his right fist and hopped toward the dugout, the shutout preserved on his final pitch of the night.

"He takes the ball whenever you give it to him and he really enjoys pitching," manager Terry Francona said. "The ball has so much life through the zone, because this is probably the most he's started in a long, long time."

After opening 1-3, the right-hander has pitched well out of the fifth slot in the rotation. Tavarez is 4-0 with a 3.65 ERA over his last seven starts, an encouraging sign for a team that might need him to take on a bigger role while Curt Schilling is on the disabled list.

Schilling returned to Boston for an MRI exam after two straight poor starts. While the exam showed no major problems, he received a cortisone shot for suspected tendinitis and will go on the 15-day DL when the Red Sox get to San Diego for a series this weekend.

In the meantime, the Red Sox are gaining more and more confidence in Tavarez.

"I know our team: When he goes out there, we feel like we have a chance to win," Francona said. "That's a good feeling."

Atlanta's Buddy Carlyle (1-2) had pitched decently in three straight outings, but the journeyman was no match for Boston's powerful lineup -- especially when his pitches kept drifting up in the strike zone.

"When you throw pitches like I did, especially to a team like Boston, they're definitely going to hit them," Carlyle said. "No excuse for it. I've got to get the ball down better."

Carlyle lasted just 3 2/3 innings, giving up seven runs and nine hits with three walks. There was nothing fluky about his dismal line; in addition to serving up three homers, he also allowed four doubles.

Crisp delivered the biggest blow with two outs in the first, driving one into the right-field seats just two nights after the first two-homer game of his career. He came into Atlanta with only one homer on the season.

Boston scored all but two of its runs with the long ball. Ramirez and Dustin Pedroia drove in the others with RBI doubles.

Notes

  • Drew left the game as a precaution with the Red Sox leading 7-0. He has been plagued by injuries throughout his career.
  • Braves CF Andruw Jones, mired in an 0-for-18 slump that dropped his average to .202, took the night off. Harris moved over from left field and made a Jones-like catch in the eighth, diving to take away a hit from Lugo.
  • Braves RHP Joey Devine pitched an inning after being recalled from Double-A Mississippi before the game.
  • Drew's leadoff homer was the second of his career.
 
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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Manny Ramirez finishes the game with three hits, including a solo shot in the seventh inning.  (AP)
Manny Ramirez finishes the game with three hits, including a solo shot in the seventh inning. (AP)

Players of the Game
Boston

C. Crisp
AB 5
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 3
Boston

J. Tavarez
IP 7.0
H 3
ER 0
BB 1
K 4
 
Boston Red Sox
J.D. Drew, RF2221000 .243
    Wily Mo Pena, RF4120022 .229
Dustin Pedroia, 2B5221012 .323
David Ortiz, 1B3112111 .332
    Eric Hinske, 1B1112000 .188
Manny Ramirez, LF4232102 .300
Kevin Youkilis, 3B4010112 .332
Jason Varitek, C4110125 .265
    Mike Timlin, P0000000 .000
Coco Crisp, CF5123010 .250
Julio Lugo, SS5000002 .201
Julian Tavarez, P3000030 .250
   a- Alex Cora, PH1000000 .278
    Joel Pineiro, P0000000 .000
   b- Doug Mirabelli, PH-C1000012 .194
Totals42111511412  
a-flied out for Tavarez in the 8th
b-struck out for Pineiro in the 9th
Batting
2B - J.D. Drew (10, Carlyle), Wily Mo Pena (5, Carlyle), Dustin Pedroia 2 (16, Carlyle, Soriano), Manny Ramirez (15, Carlyle)
HR - J.D. Drew (6, Carlyle), David Ortiz (13, Carlyle), Eric Hinske (2, Soriano), Manny Ramirez (11, Moylan), Coco Crisp (4, Carlyle)
RBI - J.D. Drew (30), Dustin Pedroia (23), David Ortiz 2 (46), Eric Hinske 2 (7), Manny Ramirez 2 (41), Coco Crisp 3 (21)
2-OUT RBI - Dustin Pedroia (8), David Ortiz 2 (23), Eric Hinske 2 (5), Coco Crisp 3 (9)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - Lugo-Pedroia-Ortiz, Lugo-Ortiz
Boston Red Sox
Julian Tavarez (W,5-4) 7300140 4.50
Joel Pineiro 1200020 4.80
Mike Timlin 1000000 5.79
Pitches-Strikes - Julian Tavarez 97-54, Joel Pineiro 14-10, Mike Timlin 6-4
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Julian Tavarez 9-6, Joel Pineiro 1-0, Mike Timlin 3-0
Batters Faced - Julian Tavarez 23, Joel Pineiro 5, Mike Timlin 3
Atlanta Braves
Kelly Johnson, 2B3000112 .281
Willie Harris, CF4010001 .380
Edgar Renteria, SS3010001 .333
    Chris Woodward, PR-3B1000000 .209
Chipper Jones, 3B2010000 .323
    Yunel Escobar, 3B-SS2000001 .292
Brian McCann, C3000003 .258
Jeff Francoeur, RF3010010 .275
Matt Diaz, LF3010000 .344
Scott Thorman, 1B3000012 .235
Buddy Carlyle, P1000010 .000
    Oscar Villarreal, P0000000 .000
   a- Pete Orr, PH1000010 .192
    Peter Moylan, P0000000 .000
    Rafael Soriano, P0000000 .000
   b- Jarrod Saltalamacchia, PH1000012 .319
    Joey Devine, P0000000 .000
Totals3005016  
a-struck out for Villarreal in the 6th
b-struck out for Soriano in the 8th
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Jeff Francoeur 1
Atlanta Braves
Buddy Carlyle (L,1-2) 3.2977343 6.11
Oscar Villarreal 2.1000040 3.65
Peter Moylan 1111021 2.39
Rafael Soriano 1333101 3.13
Joey Devine 1200020 0.00
IBB - Varitek by Buddy Carlyle, by Ortiz
Pitches-Strikes - Buddy Carlyle 89-50, Oscar Villarreal 27-20, Peter Moylan 15-10, Rafael Soriano 19-13, Joey Devine 16-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Buddy Carlyle 3-4, Joey Devine 1-0
Batters Faced - Buddy Carlyle 23, Oscar Villarreal 7, Peter Moylan 4, Rafael Soriano 7, Joey Devine 5
Game Information
Attendance - 49585
Game Time - 2:46
Temperature - 85
Umpires - Home - Bob Davidson, First Base - Sam Holbrook, Second Base - Hunter Wendelstedt, Third Base - Randy Marsh