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Red Sox 9, Braves 4: Brock Holt hits for the cycle, losing streak ends at seven

Brock Holt led an 18-hit outburst for the Red Sox with a cycle, backing up a solid performance from Wade Miley and finally bringing their losing streak to an end.

Jim Rogash/Getty Images

After seven terrible games, the losing streak is finally over. Wade Miley put together six strong innings and Brock Holt hit for the cycle to lead a nine-run attack as the Sox found themselves back in the win column, 9-4.

So what does it take to end a losing streak? Apparently the absence of the team's best player, and another one of its best hitters. The Red Sox were without both Dustin Pedroia and Hanley Ramirez, forcing them into an unusual combination of Brock Holt and Mookie Betts atop the lineup.

So of course they scored right away. Leading off the game with back-to-back doubles after a 1-2-3 top of the first from Miley, Holt and Betts got the Red Sox on the board in a hurry. The Sox would proceed to load the bases with nobody out on a walk from David Ortiz and single from Xander Bogaerts, but a double play from Pablo Sandoval gave the Sox just one more run before the inning was over.

Still, the Sox were ahead 2-0, and for once, the man on the mound did not immediately gift the runs back. Wade Miley held the Braves to a single in the second, striking out the other three batters he faced, and recorded a clean third as well, leaving the lead intact headed into the fourth. But there was no shutout in store for Miley, and with the Sox not producing anything but a pair of singles from Holt and Napoli, when Miley allowed the first two batters of the fourth to reach and ultimately score, it was a tie game once more.

The fourth-inning stumble would prove an aberration for Miley, who worked through the next couple without much trouble, giving the Red Sox a chance to retake the lead in the bottom of the sixth. Mookie Betts got things started with a long fly ball to center field, good for a triple off the glove of a leaping Cameron Maybin. Xander Bogaerts would bring him home with a tapper in front of the mound, with Ryan Lavarnway unable to handle the toss home, and while he ended up running into an out trying to take second, Pablo Sandoval restarted the rally with a long single to left. Mike Napoli moved him along to third with a double, and Alejandro De Aza plated them both to make it 5-2 Red Sox.

Still, the Sox weren't done. Junichi Tazawa helped keep Miley's line looking clean after he got into a little bit of trouble with one out in the sixth, and Brock Holt cleared the Monster in the seventh to make it 6-2. They kept on going right into the eighth, with Pablo Sandoval leading off with a double and scoring as Nick Markakis sold out on a perfectly-placed fly ball from Alejandro De Aza, turning it into a triple. Rusney Castillo picked up an infield hit behind him, and when Cameron Maybin couldn't make the catch on Brock Holt's fly ball to center, Boston's super-utility man went all the way to third, completing his cycle and capping off the nine-run attack from the lineup.

There was some trouble in store for the ninth, with Koji Uehara struggling to get through a non-save appearance (with no small amount of help from one of the strangest defensive gaffes in recent memory courtesy Rusney Castillo), but thanks to the big eighth, the Sox were never in any real danger of losing the lead, or having their streak extend to eight games. If it takes 18 hits and nine runs, it takes 18 hits and nine runs. For once, the Red Sox won.