ATLANTA (AP) — Shelby Miller’s tough luck continued, and the Atlanta Braves missed on a rare chance to win a series from the Boston Red Sox.
Miller (5-3) gave up just one earned run in 5 2/3 innings, but he failed to win for the sixth straight start as the Braves lost 5-2 on Thursday night. The Braves split the two-city, four-game series with the struggling Red Sox, who have won just twice in their last 10 games. The Braves had lost six straight series to the Red Sox dating to 2004.
A dropped foul popup by Braves third baseman Juan Uribe helped the Red Sox score three unearned runs in the sixth inning that gave them a 4-0 lead.
“Those things happen and I didn’t do a good job, personally, getting out of it,” Miller said. “I gave up some hits over the middle of the plate that were pretty crucial at times and they ended up putting a good inning together against me.”
Clay Buchholz (4-6) threw seven strong innings for the Red Sox, giving up two unearned runs while striking out three. Koji Uehara recorded in 14th save with a perfect ninth.
The Red Sox played without third baseman Pablo Sandoval, who was benched for one game for using his Instagram account Wednesday night during a loss to the Braves. Sandoval apologized to the team before the game, and manager John Farrell said he won’t be fined or suspended.
In the crucial sixth inning, Uribe dropped Mookie Betts’ popup with the Red Sox leading 1-0. Betts singled two pitches later, then David Ortiz singled to load the bases with no outs.
A run scored on Hanley Ramirez’s double-play grounder, Xander Bogaerts hit an RBI single and Alejandro De Aza finished Miller’s night with a run-scoring double.
“We got him behind the 8-ball there on the fly ball we dropped and that inning just kept rolling,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said.
The Braves scored two unearned runs in the sixth when A.J. Pierzynski hit a line drive off Buchholz’s glove with the bases loaded. Buchholz scrambled after the ball, then overthrew Ortiz at first by trying to throw the ball with his glove hand. Cameron Maybin and Nick Markakis scored on the play.
The game was delayed 45 minutes by rain.
Red Sox: 2B Dustin Pedroia sat out with inflammation in his left knee. He has missed two of the last three games. Farrell said it was a day-to-day situation and the Red Sox are not considering the DL yet. … RHP Heith Hembree was placed on the 15-day DL with shoulder inflammation retroactive to June 15. Hembree had an 8.53 ERA in four relief appearances this season.
Braves: 1B Freddie Freeman missed his first game since Sept. 24, 2013, with a sprained right wrist, ending a streak of 234 straight games — it had been the longest active string in the majors. … SS Andrelton Simmons returned to the lineup after missing Wednesday’s game with a sore hand.
Red Sox: Rookie Eduardo Rodriguez will look to bounce back from a rough start as the Red Sox open a three-game series at Kansas City. Rodriguez (2-1, 3.55 ERA) allowed nine runs in his third career start on June 14 after consecutive stellar outings to begin his career. He will be opposed by Yohan Pino, who is expected to be recalled from Triple-A Omaha and make his first start for the Royals.
Braves: The Braves will open a three-game series at home against the NL East-leading Mets. Jacob deGrom (7-4, 2.33 ERA) will start for New York. Top prospect Matt Wisler will make is major league debut for the Braves in place of Mike Foltynewicz, who was sent to Triple-A Gwinnet on Wednesday.