On a day marked by ludicrous controversy that saw the Red Sox made more the laughing stock of the league than ever before, the team actually went ahead and put together a wholly respectable game of baseball, winning their second game in three tries against the Braves, 5-2.
It's actually delightful to have so little of note to talk about in a game. Clay Buchholz was not putting on a flashy strikeout display, but that's because the Braves were being awfully aggressive against him early in the count, and playing more or less into his hands. While a leadoff double from Jace Peterson in the first seemed an ill omen, Buchholz picked up three quick outs to escape unharmed, then three more in the second, and three more in the third. The Braves just kept putting the ball on the ground, and that made it so that even Buchholz' mistakes didn't amount to much, with Maybin being erased off of first with a double play ball in the fourth.
The one bad inning for Buchholz wasn't even entirely the result of poor pitching. It was a two out flare and a walk--his only one of the night--that got him in trouble in the sixth, but a ridiculous pair of plays that actually caused the damage. First, a "ground ball" from Juan Uribe that bounced behind the plate, popping sky high into the Atlanta night. By the time it landed in Buchholz' glove, there was no chance at all to get Uribe, leaving the bases loaded for A.J. Pierzynski. The former Red Sox catcher put the ball on the ground back to Buchholz who knocked it down towards first, motioned Ortiz back to the bag, and then tried to scoop the ball to him, with the toss sailing well over his head and towards the dugout.
Two runs would come in to score, but by that point, it was only enough to cut Boston's lead in half. Brock Holt was once again all over the box score, sending a long fly ball to the wall in the fourth that was good for a triple when a leaping attempt from Maybin left the center fielder shaken up. Holt was off on contact on a one-out ground ball from David Ortiz, scoring the first run of the night for the Sox, and then went right back to work in the sixth, leading off the inning with a ground ball single. Mookie Betts and David Ortiz followed with solid hits of their own, and while Hanley Ramirez could only bring a run in by grounding into a double play, Xander Bogaerts and Alejandro De Aza were good to knock in two more, putting the Sox ahead 4-0.
After the Braves put up their two runs, the Red Sox would get one back, with Brock Holt once again the man to score it, walking and then coming all the way around on Mookie Betts' double to the wall in left-center. Clay Buchholz would return for the bottom of the inning, working around a pair of baserunners to finish his night with seven strong innings of two-run ball. Tommy Layne and Koji Uehara would handle the eighth and ninth to lock in the win for the Red Sox.