The Boston Red Sox are no longer in the basement of the American League East and will go for their fourth straight win over the Atlanta Braves Thursday at Fenway Park.
The Red Sox have beaten the Braves three straight times following their season-high 10-game losing streak and grabbed a 4-0 win on Wednesday behind starting pitcher John Lackey, who threw 6 1/3 shutout innings, struck out nine batters and didn't issue a walk.
Xander Bogaerts had three hits, while A.J. Pierzynski, Jonny Gomes and Jackie Bradley Jr. had two hits and an RBI apiece for Boston, which halted a six-game home losing streak.
"On the heels of what we've come off of (it's been) much needed," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "We've gotten some timely hits. There's a little bit more of a looseness in those situations."
Boston will host Tampa Bay for three games this weekend, but hopes Jake Peavy can pitch the club to a home-and-home sweep of the Braves tonight. Peavy is 1-2 with a 4.65 earned run average in 10 starts and has an 0-2 record in his previous five trips to the hill. He did not figure into the decision of Saturday's 6-5 loss to the Rays and allowed five runs in six innings.
Peavy has allowed at least five runs in each of his previous three outings (16 total) and is 0-2 in six starts at Fenway Park this season. The right-hander and 2007 NL Cy Young Award winner with San Diego is 3-4 with a 3.86 ERA in eight career starts against the Braves.
The Braves have lost three in a row after winning six of eight games. Gavin Floyd took the loss on Wednesday and allowed two runs -- one earned -- in five innings of work. Alex Wood gave up the other two runs.
Tommy La Stella and Ramiro Pena each had two hits in the loss. La Stella was making his major league debut at second base.
"Tommy was great. He did what we expected him to. He did a nice job. I can't complain," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said.
The NL East-leading Braves left 10 men on base and had nine hits.
Atlanta will visit Miami for three games this weekend.
Taking the mound for the Braves at Fenway Park Thursday will be Mike Minor, who is 2-3 with a 3.90 earned run average in five starts. He had a two-game winning streak stopped in Saturday's 3-1 loss to Colorado and was reached for all three runs in 6 1/3 innings.
Minor, a left-hander, lost his only career start against Boston back in 2012.