Ozuna homers twice, Sale shuts down former team as Braves beat Red Sox 5-0

Wed, May 8, 2024
MLB News (AP)

Ozuna homers twice, Sale shuts down former team as Braves beat Red Sox 5-0

ATLANTA (AP) - Marcell Ozuna kept up his torrid start with two more homers and Chris Sale pitched six innings against his former team, leading the Atlanta Braves to a 5-0 victory over the Boston Red Sox and a sweep of their two-game interleague series Wednesday night.

Ozuna hit a three-run shot in the first inning and added a solo drive in the third off Nick Pivetta, who was roughed up in his first start since coming off the injured list.

Sale (5-1) pitched for the Red Sox from 2018-23 - a tenure that began with a World Series championship but was largely marred by injuries before he was traded to Atlanta this past winter.

The left-hander sure seems to have regained the form that made him one of baseball's most dominant starters. He fanned 10 for the 82nd double-digit strikeout game of his career and got a big lift from left fielder Jarred Kelenic, who leaped above the yellow line at the 385-foot mark to snatch away a potential homer by Garrett Cooper.

Speaking of comebacks, look how far Ozuna has come.

A year ago, the slugger known as "Big Bear" was hitting .146 and seemed on the verge of being released by the Braves. He rebounded to post 40 homers with 100 RBIs, and he's on pace for even loftier numbers this season.

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Ozuna's second two-homer game of the year gave him 12 homers and 38 RBIs - both tops in the big leagues - along with a .315 batting average. He nearly made it three homers on the night, flying out to the warning track his final time up.

Orlando Arcia also went deep for the Braves. Dylan Lee and Ray Kerr followed Sale to complete the seven-hit shutout.

Pivetta (1-2) made his first appearance since April 3 after being sidelined with a right elbow strain.

He appeared to get through the first with no trouble when Austin Riley hit into what was ruled an inning-ending double play. But the call was overturned when the replay showed Riley getting his foot to the bag just ahead of the relay throw.

Matt Olson reached on a dribbler that went for an infield hit, and Ozuna followed with a 372-foot shot that barely cleared the right-field wall. Three pitches later, Arcia made it back-to-back homers with another opposite-field shot to right.

Instead of getting out of the inning unscathed, Pivetta found himself in a 4-0 hole - a rare slip-up by a Boston rotation that has been stellar this season. He lasted four innings, giving up seven hits and all five Atlanta runs.


Red Sox: In addition to Pivetta returning, the Red Sox activated Romy Gonzalez from the 10-day injured list and started him at first base. He had been out since April 11 with a left wrist strain.

Braves: C Sean Murphy has been hitting in the cage as he moves toward a return to the lineup. Murphy hasn't played since the March 29 season opener, when he strained his left oblique swinging at a pitch.


Both teams are off Thursday. The Red Sox return home to open a three-game series Friday against Washington, with RHP Tanner Houck (3-3, 1.99 ERA) set to face Nationals LHP Patrick Corbin (0-3, 6.45 ERA). RHP Charlie Morton (2-0, 3.50 ERA) takes the mound for the Braves on Friday to begin a weekend set at New York. The Mets will go with LHP Jose Quintana (1-3, 5.20 ERA).


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