BOSTON (AP) — Rafael Devers homered and drove in three runs, and the Boston Red Sox stopped Atlanta's four-game win streak with a 9-5 victory over the Braves on Wednesday night.
Hunter Renfroe also connected for Boston, and Christian Vázquez had three RBIs. Xander Bogaerts walked twice and scored three times.
Bogaerts said Devers is locked in.
“He can put a team on his back for weeks and months," he said. "He’s not the type of guy who can just do it for a couple of days. He can ride it for a long time. It’s just a credit to the talent and the work that he puts in.”
Red Sox right-hander Nick Pivetta (6-0) struck out a season-high nine in six innings, settling down after a shaky start. He was charged with four runs and seven hits.
Boston had dropped two in a row on the heels of a four-game win streak.
Austin Riley homered for Atlanta for the fifth time in his last five games. William Contreras had two hits and two RBIs, including a solo shot in the ninth.
Braves left-hander Drew Smyly (2-3) allowed seven runs and five hits in 5 1/3 innings. He was 2-0 with a 2.00 ERA over his previous three starts.
“I was very efficient with my pitch count, wasn’t walking anybody,” Smyly said. "It’s pretty hard to give up five hits and one walk and seven earned runs, but I accomplished that tonight. So, no, I’m not happy with the results.”
The game was delayed for nearly three hours by rain after the sixth inning.
“We knew what was going on but it was out of the umpires’ hands and the teams, it’s the league,” Boston manager Alex Cora said. “They tell us we have to play, we play. It was tough at the end.”
Atlanta jumped out to a fast start with three runs over the first two innings. Ozzie Albies hit an RBI triple and scored on Dansby Swanson's double in the first. Contreras added a sacrifice fly in the second.
Boston trailed 4-3 before scoring four times in the sixth. Devers hit a tiebreaking RBI double and Vázquez added a two-run single with two outs, snapping an 0-for-10 skid.
Vázquez also drove in Renfroe with a sacrifice fly in the eighth, giving the Red Sox a 9-4 lead.
“We got back to our principles of an offense and you saw what happened,” Cora said. “If we do that on a nightly basis, we can be very dangerous.”
Devers connected for his 14th homer in the fourth, tying it a 3 with a two-run shot to center. But Riley responded with his 10th of the season in the fifth.
Braves: LF Marcell Ozuna is expected to be sidelined for about six weeks after suffering fractures to the middle and ring fingers of his left hand on Tuesday. He was injured when he slid into third base in Atlanta’s two-run third inning. Ozuna traveled to Atlanta on Wednesday and was evaluated by hand specialist Dr. Gary Lourie. Manager Brian Snitker said Ozuna is expected to be in a cast but will not need surgery.
Red Sox: RHP Ryan Brasier, on the injured list all season with a left calf strain, will throw a bullpen session over the weekend followed by a live BP session. Barring any setbacks, Cora said Brasier could be ready for a rehab assignment in about a week. ... LHP Chris Sale, recovering from Tommy John surgery, threw on flat ground and then threw 15 pitches from a mound. “We believe he’s going to contribute this year,” Cora said. ... RHP Tanner Houck, recovering from a sore right flexor muscle, is playing catch, up to 120 feet.
Braves: After an off day Thursday, the Braves travel to New York for the start of a three-game series with the Mets on Friday. Braves RHP Ian Anderson (4-1, 2.82 ERA) is scheduled to make his 10th start of the year.
Red Sox: Following an off day, the Red Sox host the Miami Marlins on Friday for the start of a three-game series. LHP Martin Perez (2-2, 3.55 ERA) is scheduled to make his 10th start of the season. RHP Cody Poteet (2-0, 1.06 ERA), who made his major league debut May 12, is scheduled to start for Miami.