BOSTON - In the history of the Fens, the list of left-handers who have enjoyed success here would fit inside Johnny Pesky's shoe.
Mel Parnell and Bruce Hurst come to mind. Bill Lee, to some extent.
Now add Tom Glavine to the list.
"Kind of the way you want it, pitching a good game in your hometown ballpark," Glavine said Sunday afternoon after pitching seven innings of the Braves' 8-0 win over the Red Sox before a full house at Fenway Park. "If this isn't the best game I've pitched all year, it's definitely in the top three."
Glavine made it a day to deposit in his memory bank forever, allowing just three hits for his first win since June 3, while sending the Braves into the All-Star break on a winning note.
"I'm really more than pleased," manager Bobby Cox said. "Maybe the three days will get some of our guys healthier than they are right now. The rest will be appreciated."
The Braves go into the break 11 games over .500 (49-38), one game behind the Phillies in the NL East, the first time they have trailed at the break since 1994. They were 16 games over .500 (52-36) and three games ahead at the break last season. The big difference is in their offense. Last season at the break the lineup was batting .273 and had scored 451 runs. This year the offense has produced a .266 batting average and 403 runs.
But neither Glavine nor the hitters were the least bit dismayed by Sunday's outpouring. Brian Jordan, who supplied Friday's winning hit, then stranded five runners in Saturday's loss, put on a show with four hits, including a double and home run, Chipper Jones reached the break with 25 home runs for the first time in his career, and rookie Mark DeRosa continued his amazing run with two more hits.
The Braves had 13 hits, including at least one by every player in the starting lineup except Rico Brogna.
"I went from hero to zero back to hero," said Jordan, who knocked in two runs and now has 50 RBI. "I couldn't sleep last night. I wanted to bounce back. If I have a real bad day, I take it to heart. I just concentrated on contributing today."
Glavine, 3-1 in four career starts on Yawkey Way, navigated through a devilish first inning, in which the Red Sox had runners on first and second with Manny Ramirez at the plate. Glavine fell behind 2 and 0, then coaxed a fly to right, and DeRosa made the play of the game by diving for Dante Bichette's smash and forcing Ramirez at second base to end the inning.
"I couldn't ask for a worse situation with two guys on and Manny coming up," said Glavine, who ran his record to 7-5 and lowered his ERA to 4.55 as he moved into 75th place on the all-time wins list with No. 215. "That's where you trust your experience and use your instincts. But that play (by DeRosa), you can't underestimate what it means."
Facing an unfamiliar pitcher usually sounds a death knell to the Braves' lineup. Sunday, it was four scoreless innings against Red Sox starter Tomo Ohka (2-4) with just two runners advancing beyond first base until Jordan opened the fifth with a home run (No. 11), ricocheting a 1 and 1 delivery against the center field camera well, a drive estimated at 415 feet.
DeRosa then assured himself a .400 batting average at the break with his second hit, Quilvio Veras singled, and B.J. Surhoff delivered a two-run double against the wall in left-center. Andruw Jones, who had tapped out and flied out in his first two trips, and was 4 for his previous 23, followed with his 19th home run of the season into the left field net to make it 5-0.
"Early in the season we'd pitch and not hit, or hit and not pitch," Chipper Jones said. "Now we're putting it together."
Ohka, who had retired 11 of 14 batters he'd faced until Jordan took him deep, was gone after that inning, and Hipolito Pichardo fanned the flames in the sixth. Ken Caminiti, 5 for 14 since joining the team Friday, lined a double just inside the right field line, Jordan singled, and Javy Lopez's infield single sent in Caminiti.
Pichardo departed to boos, but his successor, Bryce Florie, kept the Braves from piling on by inducing a double-play roller from Brogna, and a fly to right from DeRosa.
The Braves added another run in the eighth on shortstop Mike Lansing's throwing error, and Jordan's double to right-center.
"Big game for me," Glavine said, "mentally to finally get a win, and certainly to do it here in my hometown ballpark means a lot too."
Reach Bill Zack at firstname.lastname@example.org
© 2016. All Rights Reserved. | Contact Us