Orlando Arcia’s 2-run homer in 9th lifts Braves over Red Sox

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Orlando Arcia took full advantage of his first start in more than two weeks, hitting a two-run homerun in the bottom of the ninth to give the Atlanta Braves a 5-3 victory over the Boston Red Sox on Wednesday-evening.

Arcia hit his first homer of the season over the wall into Ryan Brasier’s left field with one out in the ninth for his third goal of the game. The homerun brought in Ozzie Albies, who led off with a single.

Arcia started with the designated batter. His last at bat, as a pinch-hitter, came on May 3 and his last start was on April 24. He said he didn’t know he started until he got to Truist Park.

“For me it’s the same anyway,” said Arcia through a translator, adding that his goal is “to come to the stadium with the same energy.”

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Orlando Arcia of the Atlanta Braves reacts as he rounds the bases after hitting a two-run walk-out homerun in the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Boston Red Sox on Wednesday, May 11, 2022 in Atlanta.

Orlando Arcia of the Atlanta Braves reacts as he rounds the bases after hitting a two-run walk-out homerun in the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Boston Red Sox on Wednesday, May 11, 2022 in Atlanta.
(AP Photo/John Bazemore)

The opening for Arcia was partly due to the decision of rightfielder Ronald Acuña Jr. to hold out because of pain in his groin.

Arcia hit two basehits in three at bats for his game-ending homerun.

“I’m going to sleep like a baby tonight,” Arcia said.

Red Sox manager Alex Cora and catcher Kevin Plawecki were ejected by plate umpire Adam Beck after calling strike three off Plawecki with the bases loaded to end the top of the sixth with a score at 3. Collin McHugh’s full pitch appeared be low.

Plawecki slammed his helmet to the ground as he argued and was quickly ejected by Beck. Cora stormed out of the dugout and took up the spirited dispute, pointing to the board and continuing his animated argument after he was thrown out too.

Christian Vázquez replaced Plawecki behind the plate.

Albies ended an 0-for-10 slump by leading off the ninth with a single against Brasier (0-1). Arcia’s homer was a surprise. He hit just two in a combined 81 at bats with Milwaukee and Atlanta in 2021.

“It’s great because he hasn’t played much,” said Braves manager Brian Snitker. ‘He has not lost his enthusiasm. He worked.’

The Braves rallied from a 3-0 deficit.

Kenley Jansen (1-0) struckout two batters and walked one in a scoreless ninth.

After matching its season highlight in Tuesday-evening’s 9-4 win, Boston had early success against Ian Anderson, who gave up three runs on seven hits in 5 1/3 innings.

Trevor Story’s two-run homer in the second brought in Alex Verdugo, who doubled with one out. It was Story’s first home run with Boston.

The Red Sox pushed their lead to 3-0 in the third when Rafael Devers doubled and scored on a single by JD Martinez. Devers hit his first grand slam of his career on Tuesday evening.

The Braves tied the game in the third. After Arcia singled for Atlanta’s first hit off Nathan Eovaldi, Travis Demeritte pulled a fastball over the wall of left field for a two-run home run. Dansby Swanson walked, stole second base and scored on a double by Matt Olson to the wall in midfield.

Eovaldi gave up three runs in 6 1/3 innings. He struckout six batters with one walk.

DIVIDED DECISION

With the split of the two-game series, the Red Sox were denied their first series win since April 11-13, when they took two of the three from Detroit. They ended a streak of six consecutive series losses.

TRAINERS ROOM

The Braves hope Acuña will feel better after a rough day on Thursday. Acuña felt the discomfort during Tuesday night’s game. “He woke up and it wasn’t any better,” Snitker said. Acuña has successfully returned from anterior cruciate ligament surgery in his right knee. He has hit .282 with two home runs and five stolen bases in his first 10 games. … Backup C. Manny Piña will undergo surgery at the end of the season after tests show his left wrist has suffered ligament and cartilage damage. Piña, 34, was placed on the 10-day injured list on April 28 with an inflammation in the wrist. Piña, who signed an $8 million two-year contract for the season, is expected to return for spring training next year.

NEXT ONE

Red Sox: Boston is off Thursday before continuing their five-game trip in Texas on Friday night. The team had not yet announced its starting pitchers pending an update on LHP Rich Hill, who could return from the COVID-19 injured list.

Braves: After an offday, LHP Max Fried (4-2, 2.68 ERA) is scheduled for Friday-evening in the opener of a three-game series against San Diego. Fried is 2-0 with a 0.56 ERA in two career starts against the Padres.

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