Ben­in­tendi, More­land carry Sox

Stamford Advocate (Sunday) - - Sports -

BOS­TON — All those long re­hab days fi­nally paid off Bos­ton sec­ond base­man Dustin Pe­droia.

The 2008 AL MVP made his sea­son de­but Sat­ur­day af­ter Oc­to­ber knee surgery, help­ing the Red Sox rally for an 8-6 vic­tory over the At­lanta Braves.

“There’s been a lot of tough days,” Pe­droia said. “To­day was great to be out there and play.”

Pe­droia went 0 for 4, but he walked and scored in the third in­ning of Bos­ton’s sixth win in seven games. An­drew Ben­in­tendi home­red and drove in three runs, and Mitch More­land had a key two-run dou­ble.

Pe­droia, who part of Bos­ton’s 2007 and ‘13 World Se­ries-win­ning teams, got a stand­ing ova­tion when he came up with the bases loaded and two outs in the first. He popped out to right.

“Every mo­ment’s spe­cial when you get an op­por­tu­nity to play base­ball here. I never take it for granted,” he said. “To­day was up there with any of the mo­ments that I’ve been here. I was proud to be able to come­back from the surgery I had and help us win.”

Pe­droia hus­tled home on Chris­tian Vazquez’s sin­gle, beat­ing a throw to the plate with a head­first slide

“Great baserun­ning. He looked fast,” Red Sox man­ager Alex Cora said. “The way he moved, that was good to see. It’s good to have him back with the en­ergy he brings.”

Knuck­le­baller Steven Wright (1-0) pitched three score­less in­nings for the vic­tory. Craig Kim­brel worked the ninth for his 16th save, re­tir­ing three in a row af­ter Ron­ald Acuna Jr.’s lead­off homer.

Dansby Swan­son hit a two-run drive for the Braves, who have dropped 10 of their last 13 at Fen­way Park.

At­lanta left-han­der Sean New­comb, a Mas­sachusetts na­tive, strug­gled with his con­trol in his first ca­reer game in Fen­way, giv­ing up three runs and six hits over three in­nings with four walks and four strike­outs.

“Wasn’t click­ing,” Braves man­ager Brian Snitker said. “I don’t know, it just wasn’t. He’s bound to have one of those. … He just didn’t have it.”

The Braves had a 5-4 lead be­fore More­land’s dou­ble down the right-field line off Sam Freeman (1-2) in the sixth. Ben­in­tendi added a two-run triple in the sev­enth.

The Red Sox had to rally af­ter Drew Pomer­anz was pulled with one out in the fourth. He was charged with five runs and six hits.

Swan­son con­nected in the sec­ond, hit­ting a drive to the Green Mon­ster seats for his third homer. Kurt Suzuki added an RBI sin­gle in the third, and Fred­die Freeman and Nick Markakis each drove in a run in the fourth.

Ben­in­tendi went deep in the bot­tom of the fourth, trim­ming At­lanta’s lead to 5-4 with a solo shot.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Braves: Snitker said RHP Ani­bal Sanchez (right ham­string) likely will start Tues­day. He went three in­nings in a re­hab start for Triple-A Gwin­nett on Fri­day.

Red Sox: Cora said the plan for RHP Austin Mad­dux (10-day dis­abled list, strained right shoul­der) is to be ex­tended more than one in­ning.

HOMECOMING

New­comb was born in Brock­ton, about 30 miles south of Fen­way. He at­tended Mid­dle­bor­ough High School and lives in Mas­sachusetts in the off­sea­son.

A fan held up a sign that read: “We love Sean New­comb.”

He es­ti­mated there were about 200 peo­ple at the game to see him.

“There were a cou­ple of my bud­dies near the dugout, so I could hear some of the stuff they were say­ing, but that was it,” he said. “It was cool to get a chance to have the fam­ily and friends come watch.”

MORE CHANGES NEEDED

Some ad­ver­tise­ments out­side of Fen­way — with a pic­ture of Han­ley Ramirez — will need to be changed.

The club des­ig­nated the 34-year-old slug­ger for as­sign­ment on Fri­day. He hit only .163 with three homers and 12 RBIs in May af­ter start­ing strong with a .330 av­er­age, three homers and 17 RBIs.

Adam Glanz­man / Getty Im­ages

The Red Sox’s An­drew Ben­in­tendi high-fives J.D. Martinez af­ter hit­ting a solo home run in the fourth in­ning against the Braves on Sat­ur­day.

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