Vazquez slam helps Red Sox pummel Braves

Vazquez slam helps Red Sox pummel Braves

Christian Vazquez belted a grand slam in an eight-run second inning and Tanner Houck struck out a career-high 10 in six innings to lead the Boston Red Sox to an 8-2 victory over the Atlanta Braves on Saturday night.

Vazquez went 3-for-5 with his second career slam while Bobby Dalbec smacked a two-run homer for Boston (23-36), which closes a highly disappointing season on Sunday. Xander Bogaerts had two of the Red Sox’s eight hits.

Dansby Swanson went 2-for-4 with a homer for the Braves (35-24), who had just six hits. Atlanta is the No. 2 seed for the National League playoffs.

Houck (3-0) gave up one run and three hits and walked three and has won all three of his major league starts. He has given up two runs (one earned) and six hits while striking out 21 in 17 innings.

Austin Brice pitched a scoreless seventh, Phillips Valdez allowed an unearned run in the eighth and fellow right-hander Andrew Triggs worked the ninth.

Atlanta left-hander Tucker Davidson (0-1) made his major league debut and was charged with seven runs (two earned) in 1 2/3 innings. He gave up three hits and four walks and struck out two.

Dalbec slugged a two-run homer with one out in the second to start the eight-run splurge. Rafael Devers drove in a run on a grounder and Bogaerts followed with an RBI single to make it 4-0.

Davidson walked J.D. Martinez to load the bases before he was removed. Left-hander Grant Dayton entered and Vazquez cleared the bases by hammering a 1-0 fastball 424 feet over the wall in left.

Atlanta got on the board in the fifth when Swanson led off against Houck and pounded a first-pitch fastball 427 feet into the stands in left center.

The Braves added a run in the eighth when Freddie Freeman laced a double to right center with one out and eventually scored when Travis d’Arnaud scorched a liner off the left leg of Valdez with two outs.

Valdez scrambled to get the ball but fumbled it and then threw wildly to first. The play was ruled as a single for d’Arnaud but there was no RBI due to the error.


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