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Jun 3, 2024 5:57 pm

Braves hope bats awaken vs. Red Sox

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The Atlanta Braves will attempt to jump-start their slumping offense when they visit the Boston Red Sox for the opener of a two-game series Tuesday night.

The Braves averaged 3.4 runs per game in May, which was fewer than every major league team except the White Sox and Reds. Atlanta scored nine runs in a 11-9 loss to Oakland on Saturday, but was held to seven hits in a 3-1 victory over the A’s on Sunday.

“I look through individually and see a lot of positives, quite honestly, with some guys offensively, which is what we’ve been trying to do,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “We haven’t been playing bad baseball — we’ve been playing good baseball — we just haven’t hit. I see light at the end of the tunnel with a bunch of those guys.

“I see a lot of really good things out of the offense, and the good thing is these guys have been struggling offensively and they’ve just been playing the heck out of defense. … From my seat the hitting thing is going to come. I can’t go in there and blow anything up because we’re not playing bad baseball. We’re playing good baseball, we’re just not hitting.”

Atlanta will be facing a Boston team trying to create some positive energy. The Red Sox lost two out of three games against Milwaukee and two out of three against Baltimore before splitting four games against Detroit in a series that ended Sunday. Boston had a 3-0 lead in Sunday’s game, but ended up losing 8-4 in 10 innings.

Boston manager Alex Cora said although his team was in position to win the series against Detroit, he was not frustrated with Sunday’s loss.

“Not really,” he said. “We know where we’re at. We were playing five rookies today. We got to be realistic. We’re playing good baseball, that’s the thing. We had a chance to win three out of four. It didn’t happen, but for some reason with this group we don’t get frustrated. Just keep teaching them the game and help them to be better.

“We got a tough one coming up with the Braves. Hopefully we win it and then go to Chicago (White Sox) and have a good weekend over there. It’ll be good for us this week to gain some momentum.”

Boston’s Rafael Devers went 2-for-4 with two RBIs, a triple and a game-tying home run in the eighth inning during Sunday’s loss. Devers enters Tuesday’s game batting .283 with 11 home runs, 29 RBIs and a .924 OPS.

“He keeps getting better and he understands who he is, not only on this team but in the industry,” Cora said. “He’s one of the best players in the league.”

Left-hander Max Fried (5-2, 2.97 ERA) is Atlanta’s probable starter for Tuesday’s game. Fried pitched eight innings in a 2-0 victory over Washington last Tuesday. He allowed seven hits, struck out six and walked one.

Fried is 1-0 with a 3.60 ERA in his only career start against Boston. He gave up two runs on five hits in five innings, struck out five and walked two.

Right-hander Kutter Crawford (2-4, 3.29) is scheduled to start for Boston. Crawford did not factor in the decision in his only career appearance against Atlanta. On May 7, he surrendered two runs on five hits in six innings, struck out six and walked two in a 4-2 loss at Atlanta.

–Field Level Media

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