The Braves got off to a good start to this game on the very first pitch, which leadoff hitter Nate McLouth drilled for a homerun. Atlanta won the battle of the Japanese starters as Kenshin Kawakami out-dueled Daisuke Matsuzaka. Kawakami racked up another quality start while holding the Red Sox to just two hits, only running into real trouble in the sixth. Matsuzaka continued his ineffectiveness by allowing 6 runs on 8 hits, including 5 extra base hits.
The Braves took no chances with their lead by turning to Peter Moylan, Rafael Soriano, and Mike Gonzalez, in the seventh, eighth, and ninth innings to finish out the game. Each of those pitchers racked up 2 strikeouts a piece, combined with Kawa's K's Atlanta pitching struck out 11 Red Sox on the night.
In addition to the great pitching, the offense also contributed with 8 runs. Garret Anderson was 3-for-3 with 4 RBIs, and the top-4 batters in front of him in the lineup combined for 7 hits, 6 runs, and 3 RBIs. If there was any bad news out of this game, it's that the bottom four guys in the order were 1-for-14, though they did manage 3 walks.
It was a good win for the Braves -- the offense clicked just as much as the pitching. Despite the lower half of the order taking the night off, the guys at the top, including the all-important McLouth, carried the load for Atlanta.
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