ATLANTA -- — Christian Arroyo relished delivering the big hit Wednesday night. After reviewing the tape, he thinks his celebration needs some work.
Arroyo slugged a pinch-hit grand slam in the seventh inning to give Boston the lead and the surging Red Sox beat the Atlanta Braves 10-8 on Wednesday night to move within one game of first place.
Arroyo blew kisses and took a fancy step as he rounded third base.
“These are the type moments you live for,” he said. “I will say this, it does need some work. I saw the video of it.”
The Red Sox (42-27) are only one game behind AL East-leading Tampa Bay, which lost 8-7 in 10 innings to the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday. Boston, which moved a season-best 15 games over .500, has won three consecutive games and five of seven.
Adam Ottavino gave up a run-scoring double to Ronald Acuña Jr. in the ninth. Acuña was thrown out at third and Ottavino struck out Freeman for his fourth save.
“Honestly I was just trying to make an aggressive play,” Acuña said through a translator. “Looking back on it now, that was my bad. I should have given the hitter behind me a chance to drive in a run.”
The Red Sox loaded the bases against Shane Greene (0-1) in the seventh. Greene struck out Bobby Dalbec for the second out of the inning before left-hander A.J. Minter gave up Arroyo's fourth homer deep into the left field seats.
Red Sox manager Alex Cora planned to use Danny Santana as his pinch-hitter before the Braves brought in Minter.
“When they went with the lefty it was a no-brainer, let’s go with Arroyo,” Cora said.
Yacksel Rios (1-0) recorded one out in the sixth after he was added to the roster before the game. Rios, 27, was acquired from Seattle on Monday for cash.
The Braves pulled even in the fifth on Swanson's three-run homer off Richards. With one out in the sixth, Freeman hit a low fastball from Hirokazu Sawamura into the seats in left-center for his 16th homer.
Boston swept the two-game series, extending the Braves' woes with consecutive 10-8 victories. Atlanta (30-35) has lost six of seven.
“We’ve got to do a better job of that if we’re going to get on a run like we feel like we’re capable of,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said.
Ian Anderson allowed four runs on seven hits and a walk in four innings. Boston scored two runs in the fourth off the right-hander. Dalbec's single drove in Renfroe, who just missed a homer with his double to left field.
Red Sox: C Christian Vazquez left the game in the seventh due to a stomach illness. ... Manager Alex Cora said LHP Chris Sale (Tommy John recovery) felt good Wednesday after Tuesday's bullpen session at Triple-A Worcester. Sale is scheduled to throw again on Friday. Sale had the surgery to replace the ulnar collateral ligament in his left elbow in March 2020 and Cora said the team won't rush his return. ... IF Michael Chavis was optioned to Triple-A Worcester.
Braves: LHP Tucker Davidson was placed on the 10-day injured list with left forearm inflammation. He left with one out in the third inning of Tuesday night's 10-8 loss to the Red Sox. “We've got to shut him down for 10 days just to let everything calm down,” said manager Brian Snitker. “Then we’ll see where we’re at.”
NEW RULE BLUES
Boston right-hander Garrett Richards allowed six runs, four earned, in four-plus innings. He said he is battling to adjust to Major League Baseball’s new enforcement of a ban on foreign substances used by pitchers. Beginning Monday, pitchers are subject to an ejection and a 10-game suspension if caught by umpires.
Richards said he was forced to rely almost completely on fastballs.
Asked if the adjustment is difficult, Richards said, “I can’t think of a worse time to be honest with you.”
The game lasted 4 hours, 10 minutes. Richards said that will become normal.
“If you just watch baseball across the league you’re going to see some interesting things,” he said. “Be prepared for four-hour games. ... I’m just grateful I got this far into my career before we’re at this point.”
Braves left-hander Kyle Muller, recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett before the game, gave up two runs on four hits in the fifth in his major league debut. Bogaerts’ double drove in J.D. Martinez, who singled.
Red Sox: Boston is off Thursday before opening a three-game series at Kansas City. The team has another off day on Monday but Cora plans no rotation changes. “We're going to maximize the rest,” he said.
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