Red Sox defeat Braves, snap 10-game losing streak

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It didn’t look very promising early on, but the Red Sox snapped their 10-game losing streak with an 8-6 victory over the Braves this afternoon at Turner Field in Atlanta.

Clay Buchholz put the Red Sox in an early hole by allowing six runs on four hits and a career-high eight walks over three innings before being pulled. With a 7.02 ERA through 10 starts, he continues to be a complete mess. While Ervin Santana was handed an early 6-1 advantage by Buchholz and the Braves’ offense, the Red Sox came storming back in the fifth inning with a two-run double from Dustin Pedroia and a game-tying three-run home run from David Ortiz.

After a rain delay of one hour and 26 minutes, Ortiz delivered a go-ahead sacrifice fly in the seventh inning and A.J. Pierzynski followed with an RBI single to provide some insurance. The bullpen was huge for Boston today, as Burke Badenhop, Chris Capuano, Edward Mujica, Junichi Tazawa, Andrew Miller, and Koji Uehara combined for six scoreless innings to lock down the victory.

The win was Boston’s first since way back on May 14. The defending World Series champions now stand at 21-29 on the year, 7 1/2 games back of the first-place Blue Jays in the American League East.

HBT Daily: What’s wrong with the Red Sox?

The Braves cave, a little anyway, on their outside food policy

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On Friday the Atlanta Braves announced a new policy for outside food, prohibiting ticket holders from bringing in their own. This was a reversal of their old policy — and the policies of the majority of teams around the league — which allowe fans to bring in soft-sided coolers with their own food and beverages, at least as long as the beverages were sealed.

The Braves claimed that the policy change was “a result of tighter security being put into place this season throughout the league,” but this was clearly untrue as no other teams are cracking down on outside food like this. If there are new security procedures, everyone else is able to accommodate them without an opportunistic crackdown on fans bringing in PB&J for their toddlers. It seemed more likely that this was a simple cash grab.

Today the Braves have reversed the policy somewhat:

While they’re looking for kudos here, this is likewise an admission that the “security” stuff was bull because, last I checked, security procedures aren’t subject to popular referendum and aren’t changed when people complain. What really happened here, it seems, is the Braves, for the first time in living memory, were called out by the public for their greed and realized that even they have some responsibility to not be jackasses about this sort of thing.

Still, a gallon bag policy is not the same as it was before. You could bring coolers into Turner Field and still can bring them into most parks around the league. But I guess this is better than nothing.

Donald Trump may throw out the first pitch at the Nationals opener

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It’s just gossip now, but Politico is hearing that Donald Trump is in talks to throw out the first pitch at Nationals Park on Opening Day. The Nats are not commenting. Neither are the Palm Beach Cardinals of the Florida State League, who no doubt feel slighted given that the president effectively is a local.

With the caveat that, on Opening Day, tickets are likely to be more expensive and thus you’re likely to have a lot more rich people and friends-of-the-owners in attendance, thereby ensuring a more conservative crowd, I’m struggling to imagine a situation in which Trump strolls on to a baseball field in a large American city and isn’t booed like crazy. He’s polling as low as 36% in some places. He’s not exactly Mr. Popular.

Oh well. I look forward to him three-bouncing one to Matt Wieters and then grabbing his phone and tweeting about how it was the best, most tremendous first pitch in baseball history. Or blaming Hillary Clinton for it in the event he admits that it was a bad pitch.