Betts hits 17th HR, Red Sox beat Braves after cutting Hanley

BOSTON (AP) A surprising roster shakeup didn't disrupt the power surge that has the Boston Red Sox back in first place.

Hours after Boston designated Hanley Ramirez for assignment, Mookie Betts and three teammates homered as the Red Sox beat the Atlanta Braves 6-2 on Friday night.

''Offensively, don't get me wrong - we've done an outstanding job - but we feel that we're going to be better,'' manager Alex Cora said.

Betts hit his major-league leading 17th home run and J.D. Martinez slugged his 16th for the Red Sox, who had just seven hits in the game. Mitch Moreland, the newly anointed regular first baseman with Ramirez now gone, hit his seventh homer of the year, and Xander Bogaerts also went deep.

''I don't think we had a ton of hits, but the ones we did have counted,'' Moreland said. ''It's nice to be able to never feel like you're out of the game. One swing of the bat can get you right back in it. It's a lot easier to put up crooked numbers that way.''

Boston got its fifth win in six games and welcomed back All-Star second baseman Dustin Pedroia, who was activated from the DL earlier Friday but did not play. The Red Sox needed a roster spot for Pedroia, expected to make his season debut Saturday, and made the stunning and likely costly move to option Ramirez, the struggling slugger they signed to an $88 million, four-year deal before the 2015 season.

One of the reasons the Red Sox cited for the move was wanting to get Moreland more time at first, where he's an improvement defensively, as well as at the plate, where he delighted Boston fans with a solo homer to center in the eighth.

''It felt good to add another run and join all the other guys that hit homers today,'' Moreland said.

Eduardo Rodriguez struggled early but managed to hold Atlanta to just a pair of runs on six hits with three walks in 5 2/3 innings. Rodriguez (5-1) struck out seven despite his early control issues and walked three.

Nick Markakis hit a two-run double for the Braves, who have lost three of four. Julio Teheran (4-2) pitched six innings, allowing three runs on four hits, walking three and striking out four.

''I've seen him a lot sharper obviously, but he kept us in the game and kind of battled his way through it,'' Atlanta manager Brian Snitker said. ''We kept the game manageable, just had a hard time putting anything together.''

Martinez pulled Boston within 2-1 with a leadoff homer in fourth on a line drive that clipped the top of the Green Monster. Bogaerts tied it two batters later on a solo shot that left the ballpark entirely.

Boston took its first lead in the fifth when Jackie Bradley Jr. tripled to center with one out and scored on Andrew Benintendi's sacrifice fly.

''There are certain guys that struggled in the first part of the season but they're working at it. They're getting better. You can see the progress with Jackie,'' Cora said. ''Obviously with Dustin coming in, it's going to help.''

Rodriguez appeared headed for a short night when he allowed two or more baserunners in each of the first three innings. Atlanta scored twice in the third when Ronald Acuna Jr. and Freddie Freeman started the inning with back-to-back singles and Markakis drove in both with a double to left.

Atlanta didn't get another hit until Dansby Swanson's one-out double to left in the ninth.

''We're going to go through really good stretches, and through some tough ones like the last couple of games that we haven't been able to win,'' said center fielder Ender Inciarte, who went 0 for 4. ''But we keep grinding at it and hopefully it's going to go our way the rest of the series.''

FOND FAREWELL

Ramirez, 34, was hitting .254 with six homers and 29 RBIs in 44 games this season while splitting his time between first base and designated hitter. He hit .163 with three homers and 12 RBIs in May after starting the season with a .330 average, three homers and 17 RBIs.

He bid farewell to Boston in a Tweet.

''Thank you (hash)RedSoxNation. It's been real. Love you always.''

POWERFUL RELIEF

Atlanta had just as many hits as Boston, but six of the seven came in the first three innings as Rodriguez struggled. Rodriguez was pulled after his 101st pitch.

Heath Hembree finished off the Braves in the sixth, the Joe Kelly, Matt Barnes and Craig Kimbrel delivered one scoreless inning apiece.

''I've been pleased the whole season,'' Cora said of his bullpen. ''If you look at them as a whole, they're great.''

TRAINER'S ROOM

Braves: Placed LHP Luiz Gohara on the bereavement list, allowing him to return to Brazil to spend time with his mother as she recovers from heart surgery. ... Atlanta recalled RHP Matt Wisler from Triple-A Gwinnett and he pitched the final 1 1-3 inning, allowing Betts' and Moreland's homers.

Red Sox: Activated second baseman Pedroia (offseason knee surgery), but did not start him. Dave Dombrowski, president of baseball operations, said the Red Sox are going to let the four-time All-Star and 2008 AL MVP ease back into the lineup, likely starting Saturday. ''He feels good. He's not having any pain so we think that he'll be fine to go out there but we are going to be careful in that regard,'' Dombrowski said.

UP NEXT

Braves: A rookie who grew up in Massachusetts, Sean Newcomb (5-1, 1.29 ERA) is 4-0 with a 0.36 ERA in four starts this month and is making his first appearance against the Red Sox. The Middleboro High School alum had a stretch of 21 consecutive scoreless innings before the Miami Marlins scored one on him in the second last Saturday in Atlanta's 8-1 win.

Red Sox: LHP Drew Pomeranz (1-2, 5.97) lasted only four innings against Baltimore on May 18, allowing five runs - four earned - on seven hits while striking out a season-low two.

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123456789RHE
ATL29-20
002000000270
BOS35-16
00021021X670
  • W: E. Rodriguez (5-1)L: J. Teheran (4-2)
  • HR: BOS - M. Moreland (8), J. Martinez (16), X. Bogaerts (7), M. Betts (17)
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
O. Albies 2B40100103.280.325.569.8932.0
R. Acuna RF51100033.248.308.422.7300.5
F. Freeman 1B31100121.324.425.546.9712.0
N. Markakis LF30120111.344.414.513.9264.5
K. Suzuki DH40000013.252.321.445.766-0.5
E. Inciarte CF40000011.261.312.362.673-0.5
T. Flowers C40100011.286.412.381.7930.5
J. Camargo 3B30100110.219.387.384.7711.5
D. Swanson SS40100023.272.313.404.7171.0
    HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
    M. Betts RF31121110.361.438.7611.1999.5
    A. Benintendi LF30010010.272.360.456.8160.5
    J. Martinez DH41111001.326.381.6531.0346.0
    M. Moreland 1B41211010.318.393.6361.0296.5
    X. Bogaerts SS41111001.285.327.533.8596.0
    R. Devers 3B30000111.233.293.423.7170.5
    B. Holt 2B21100100.333.392.486.8795.0
    C. Vazquez C30000003.190.233.230.4630.0
    J. Bradley CF31100011.177.269.277.5453.5
      BATTING
      • 2B - N. Markakis (12), D. Swanson (10)
      • RBI - N. Markakis 2 (34)
      BATTING
      • 3B - J. Bradley
      • HR - M. Betts (17), J. Martinez (16), M. Moreland (8), X. Bogaerts (7)
      • SF - A. Benintendi (4)
      • RBI - M. Betts 2 (37), A. Benintendi (30), J. Martinez (42), M. Moreland (23), X. Bogaerts (26)
      • 2-Out RBI - M. Betts 2 (13)
      BASERUNNING
      • SB - M. Betts (13), B. Holt
      • Picked Off - R. Devers
      PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
      J. Teheran (L, 4-2)6.04333424.201.238.0
      J. Biddle0.21110103.211.36-1.5
      M. Wisler1.12220024.341.23-1.0
      PITCHERSIP
      J. Teheran (L, 4-2)6.0
      J. Biddle0.2
      M. Wisler1.1
      PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
      E. Rodriguez (W, 5-1)5.26223704.021.2914.5
      H. Hembree (H, 6)0.10000104.841.430.5
      J. Kelly (H, 8)1.00001101.900.852.5
      M. Barnes (H, 12)1.00000102.491.023.5
      C. Kimbrel1.01000202.010.813.0
      PITCHERSIP
      E. Rodriguez (W, 5-1)5.2
      H. Hembree (H, 6)0.1
      J. Kelly (H, 8)1.0
      M. Barnes (H, 12)1.0
      C. Kimbrel1.0
      PITCHING
      • Pitches-Strikes - J. Teheran 109-61, J. Biddle 7-6, M. Wisler 24-14
      • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - J. Teheran 7-6, M. Wisler 2-2
      • Batters Faced - J. Teheran 24, J. Biddle 3, M. Wisler 6
      PITCHING
      • Pitches-Strikes - E. Rodriguez 101-61, H. Hembree 6-4, J. Kelly 16-8, M. Barnes 13-9, C. Kimbrel 17-12
      • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - E. Rodriguez 6-4, J. Kelly 1-1, M. Barnes 1-1, C. Kimbrel 1-0
      • Batters Faced - E. Rodriguez 26, H. Hembree, J. Kelly 4, M. Barnes 3, C. Kimbrel 4
      PLAYERS OF THE GAME
      123456789RHE
      ATL29-20
      002000000270
      BOS35-16
      00021021X670
      HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
      O. Albies 2B40100103.280.325.569.8932.0
      R. Acuna RF51100033.248.308.422.7300.5
      F. Freeman 1B31100121.324.425.546.9712.0
      N. Markakis LF30120111.344.414.513.9264.5
      K. Suzuki DH40000013.252.321.445.766-0.5
      E. Inciarte CF40000011.261.312.362.673-0.5
      T. Flowers C40100011.286.412.381.7930.5
      J. Camargo 3B30100110.219.387.384.7711.5
      D. Swanson SS40100023.272.313.404.7171.0
      Total34272041216-----
        HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
        M. Betts RF31121110.361.438.7611.1999.5
        A. Benintendi LF30010010.272.360.456.8160.5
        J. Martinez DH41111001.326.381.6531.0346.0
        M. Moreland 1B41211010.318.393.6361.0296.5
        X. Bogaerts SS41111001.285.327.533.8596.0
        R. Devers 3B30000111.233.293.423.7170.5
        B. Holt 2B21100100.333.392.486.8795.0
        C. Vazquez C30000003.190.233.230.4630.0
        J. Bradley CF31100011.177.269.277.5453.5
        Total296764357-----
          BATTING
          • 2B - N. Markakis (12), D. Swanson (10)
          • RBI - N. Markakis 2 (34)
          BATTING
          • 3B - J. Bradley
          • HR - M. Betts (17), J. Martinez (16), M. Moreland (8), X. Bogaerts (7)
          • SF - A. Benintendi (4)
          • RBI - M. Betts 2 (37), A. Benintendi (30), J. Martinez (42), M. Moreland (23), X. Bogaerts (26)
          • 2-Out RBI - M. Betts 2 (13)
          BASERUNNING
          • SB - M. Betts (13), B. Holt
          • Picked Off - R. Devers
          PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
          J. Teheran (L, 4-2)6.04333424.201.238.0
          J. Biddle0.21110103.211.36-1.5
          M. Wisler1.12220024.341.23-1.0
          Total8.0766354---
          PITCHERSIP
          J. Teheran (L, 4-2)6.0
          J. Biddle0.2
          M. Wisler1.1
          Total8.0
          PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
          E. Rodriguez (W, 5-1)5.26223704.021.2914.5
          H. Hembree (H, 6)0.10000104.841.430.5
          J. Kelly (H, 8)1.00001101.900.852.5
          M. Barnes (H, 12)1.00000102.491.023.5
          C. Kimbrel1.01000202.010.813.0
          Total9.07224120---
          PITCHERSIP
          E. Rodriguez (W, 5-1)5.2
          H. Hembree (H, 6)0.1
          J. Kelly (H, 8)1.0
          M. Barnes (H, 12)1.0
          C. Kimbrel1.0
          Total9.0
          PITCHING
          • Pitches-Strikes - J. Teheran 109-61, J. Biddle 7-6, M. Wisler 24-14
          • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - J. Teheran 7-6, M. Wisler 2-2
          • Batters Faced - J. Teheran 24, J. Biddle 3, M. Wisler 6
          PITCHING
          • Pitches-Strikes - E. Rodriguez 101-61, H. Hembree 6-4, J. Kelly 16-8, M. Barnes 13-9, C. Kimbrel 17-12
          • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - E. Rodriguez 6-4, J. Kelly 1-1, M. Barnes 1-1, C. Kimbrel 1-0
          • Batters Faced - E. Rodriguez 26, H. Hembree, J. Kelly 4, M. Barnes 3, C. Kimbrel 4
          • 8TH INNING
            Moreland homered to center26
          • 7TH INNING
            Betts homered to left center, Holt scored25
          • 5TH INNING
            Benintendi hit sacrifice fly to center, Bradley scored23
          • 4TH INNING
            Bogaerts homered to left22
            Martinez homered to left21
          • 3RD INNING
            Markakis doubled to left center, Acuna and Freeman scored20
          • 9TH INNING
            • Craig Kimbrel relieved Matt Barnes
            • J. Camargo: Foul, Ball, Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Strike looking, Camargo struck out looking
            • D. Swanson: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Ball, Swanson doubled to left center
            • O. Albies: Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Albies grounded out to first, Swanson to third
            • R. Acuna: Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Acuna struck out swinging
            • Middle of the 9th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
          • 8TH INNING
            • Matt Barnes relieved Joe Kelly
            • K. Suzuki: Ball, Foul, Foul, Ball, Foul, Suzuki flied out to right
            • E. Inciarte: Strike swinging, Inciarte grounded out to second
            • T. Flowers: Strike swinging, Ball, Foul, Ball, Strike looking, Flowers struck out looking
            • Middle of the 8th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • M. Wisler Pitching:
            • J. Martinez: Martinez grounded out to third
            • M. Moreland: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Moreland homered to center
            • X. Bogaerts: Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Ball, Bogaerts grounded out to shortstop
            • R. Devers: Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Devers flied out to deep left
            • End of the 8th (1 Run, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
          • 7TH INNING
            • Joe Kelly relieved Heath Hembree
            • O. Albies: Ball, Albies flied out to left
            • R. Acuna: Foul, Foul, Ball, Ball, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Acuna struck out swinging
            • F. Freeman: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Foul, Ball, Ball, Freeman walked
            • N. Markakis: Pickoff attempt, Markakis grounded out to pitcher
            • Middle of the 7th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • Jesse Biddle relieved Julio Teheran
            • B. Holt: Ball, Strike looking, Holt reached on bunt single to shortstop
            • C. Vazquez: Vazquez lined out to second
            • J. Bradley: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Strike looking, Bradley struck out looking
            • Matt Wisler relieved Jesse Biddle
            • M. Betts: Foul, Ball, Holt stole second, Betts homered to left center, Holt scored
            • A. Benintendi: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Benintendi fouled out to third
            • End of the 7th (2 Runs, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 6TH INNING
            • E. Rodriguez Pitching:
            • E. Inciarte: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Strike swinging, Inciarte struck out swinging
            • T. Flowers: Strike looking, Flowers grounded out to shortstop
            • J. Camargo: Ball, Ball, Foul, Ball, Ball, Camargo walked
            • Heath Hembree relieved Eduardo Rodriguez
            • D. Swanson: Strike swinging, Foul, Ball, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Swanson struck out swinging
            • Middle of the 6th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • J. Teheran Pitching:
            • M. Moreland: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Strike looking, Moreland struck out looking
            • X. Bogaerts: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Foul, Ball, Bogaerts grounded out to pitcher
            • R. Devers: Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Devers grounded out to second
            • End of the 6th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 5TH INNING
            • E. Rodriguez Pitching:
            • F. Freeman: Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Freeman struck out swinging
            • N. Markakis: Strike swinging, Strike (foul tip), Ball, Foul, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Markakis struck out looking
            • K. Suzuki: Foul, Ball, Foul, Foul, Ball, Suzuki grounded out to shortstop
            • Middle of the 5th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • J. Teheran Pitching:
            • C. Vazquez: Strike looking, Ball, Vazquez grounded out to second
            • J. Bradley: Bradley tripled to deep center
            • M. Betts: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Betts walked
            • A. Benintendi: Pickoff attempt to first, Pickoff attempt to first, Pickoff attempt to first, Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Pickoff attempt to first, Foul, Foul, Pickoff attempt to first, Benintendi hit sacrifice fly to center, Bradley scored
            • J. Martinez: Pickoff attempt, Strike looking, Betts stole second, Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Martinez grounded out to second
            • End of the 5th (1 Run, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
          • 4TH INNING
            • E. Rodriguez Pitching:
            • J. Camargo: Strike looking, Camargo popped out to second
            • D. Swanson: Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Swanson struck out swinging
            • O. Albies: Ball, Ball, Ball, Ball, Albies walked
            • R. Acuna: Strike swinging, Foul, Ball, Acuna lined out to center
            • Middle of the 4th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • J. Teheran Pitching:
            • J. Martinez: Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Martinez homered to left
            • M. Moreland: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Strike looking, Moreland flied out to deep right
            • X. Bogaerts: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Ball, Bogaerts homered to left
            • R. Devers: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Ball, Ball, Devers walked
            • B. Holt: Strike looking, Ball, Devers picked off at first, pitcher to first, Strike looking, Holt grounded out to first
            • End of the 4th (2 Runs, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 3RD INNING
            • E. Rodriguez Pitching:
            • R. Acuna: Ball, Acuna singled to right center
            • F. Freeman: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Freeman singled to center, Acuna to second
            • N. Markakis: Markakis doubled to left center, Acuna and Freeman scored
            • K. Suzuki: Foul, Foul, Foul, Strike swinging, Suzuki struck out swinging
            • E. Inciarte: Foul, Strike looking, Ball, Inciarte grounded out to shortstop
            • T. Flowers: Strike looking, Ball, Flowers grounded out to third
            • Middle of the 3rd (2 Runs, 3 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • J. Teheran Pitching:
            • J. Bradley: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Bradley grounded out to second
            • M. Betts: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Betts struck out swinging
            • A. Benintendi: Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Benintendi struck out swinging
            • End of the 3rd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 2ND INNING
            • E. Rodriguez Pitching:
            • E. Inciarte: Foul, Ball, Ball, Inciarte grounded out to first
            • T. Flowers: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Foul, Flowers singled to right
            • J. Camargo: Foul, Ball, Foul, Camargo singled to center, Flowers to second
            • D. Swanson: Ball, Swanson lined out to center
            • O. Albies: Foul, Albies flied out to right
            • Middle of the 2nd (0 Runs, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • J. Teheran Pitching:
            • M. Moreland: Ball, Moreland singled to center
            • X. Bogaerts: Strike looking, Ball, Bogaerts reached on fielder's choice to shortstop, Moreland out at second
            • R. Devers: Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Foul, Strike swinging, Devers struck out swinging
            • B. Holt: Pickoff attempt, Ball, Ball, Ball, Ball, Holt walked, Bogaerts to second
            • C. Vazquez: Strike looking, Ball, Vazquez lined out to center
            • End of the 2nd (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
          • 1ST INNING
            • E. Rodriguez Pitching:
            • O. Albies: Foul, Albies singled to left
            • R. Acuna: Ball, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Acuna struck out swinging
            • F. Freeman: Strike looking, Pickoff attempt, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Freeman struck out swinging
            • N. Markakis: Ball, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Strike looking, Ball, Markakis walked, Albies to second
            • K. Suzuki: Strike looking, Suzuki grounded into fielder's choice to third, Albies out at third
            • Middle of the 1st (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
            • J. Teheran Pitching:
            • M. Betts: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Betts flied out to center
            • A. Benintendi: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Benintendi flied out to shallow center
            • J. Martinez: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Foul, Ball, Ball, Martinez lined out to right
            • End of the 1st (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)