Lackey, Red Sox beat Braves for 3rd straight win

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 28, 2014 at 10:48 pm •  Published: May 28, 2014
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BOSTON (AP) — Pitching, patience and the Atlanta Braves are bringing the Boston Red Sox back from their longest losing streak in 20 years.

The defending World Series champions hope that three straight wins after 10 consecutive losses are just the start of their resurgence.

John Lackey pitched neatly into the seventh inning and the Red Sox beat the Braves for the third straight day, 4-0 Wednesday night.

"We're not looking too far ahead," Lackey said. "You can't make up 10 games in one day. You've just got to keep grinding at it."

On Tuesday night, the Red Sox won 6-3 in Atlanta as Jon Lester allowed three runs in six innings and broke a two-game personal losing streak.

Lackey (6-3) got his turn and kept his stingy season going, giving up eight hits and no walks while striking out nine in 6 1-3 innings. He has permitted two runs or less in eight of his 12 starts.

"I'm going out there and trying to compete, trying to pitch the best I could every five days, regardless of what's going on," Lackey said. "As a starter, you only get 30-something chances a year, so you've got to respect those and take full advantage of them."

The Red Sox honored Manny Ramirez, Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling and other members of their 2004 World Series championship team before the game then put on another winning performance at Fenway Park.

Jackie Bradley Jr., A.J. Pierzynski and Jonny Gomes each had had two hits and an RBI as the Red Sox extended their mastery over the Braves. Boston is 18-6 since 2005 against Atlanta.

Lackey's performance, "on the heels of what we've come off of (was) much needed," Boston manager John Farrell said. "When you look at the last two nights, both John Lackey and Jon Lester have done an excellent job of getting deep in the game."

Lackey combined with three relievers for Boston's first shutout of the season. He allowed more than one runner in just two innings and just one past second.

"If you throw strikes, you have a tendency to get any hitters aggressive and you can expand" the strike zone, Atlanta manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "We got nine hits, left all kinds of people on base. We just couldn't get that next one."

Gavin Floyd (0-2) gave up two runs in five innings and took his first career loss against the Red Sox after seven wins. He is 3-1 at Fenway Park.

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