ATLANTA (AP) — David Price had a simple summary of his domination of the overmatched Atlanta Braves.
“I just executed whenever I was ahead,” Price said.
Thanks to Travis Shaw, Price led the whole way.
Price matched his career high with 14 strikeouts, Shaw hit a three-run homer in the first and drove in five runs and the Boston Red Sox beat Atlanta 11-4 on Tuesday night.
Shaw is now sixth in the American League in batting with a .324 average. He has two home runs, 14 rbi, eight doubles and an on-base percentage of .392.
The Braves have lost seven straight and set an Atlanta-era record by failing to hit a home run for the 15th straight game.
Price said he wasn’t thinking about his strikeout total.
“I don’t care about strikeouts,” he said. “I just want to go out there and pitch as deep as I can into games.”
Price (3-0) allowed two runs on six hits in eight innings. The left-hander struck out the side in the eighth to match his career high.
Price has won eight consecutive decisions.
The Braves’ streaks are all negative.
The homer drought is the longest for the Braves in their 51 years in Atlanta. It’s the franchise’s longest span since a 16-game streak in September, 1946, when the Braves were based in Boston. Atlanta is 1-12 at home.
Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said his lineup lacks home-run hitters.
“The home-run stuff, you can’t teach that,” Gonzalez said.
Shaw hit a three-run homer off Matt Wisler (0-2) in the first and added a two-run double off Ryan Weber in Boston’s five-run ninth.
While with Tampa Bay, Price also had 14 strikeouts at Toronto on Aug. 28, 2011.
Xander Bogaerts had three hits, including a run-scoring double in the seventh, and stole two bases in Boston’s third straight win. The interleague series will continue with games in Boston on Wednesday and Thursday.
The Braves (4-16) have hit only three homers, easily the fewest in the majors. Entering Tuesday’s games, every other team in the majors had at least 12.
The 1975 California Angels are the only other team in the expansion era — since 1961 — to have hit as few as three home runs while playing 20 or more games in April, according to STATS.
CATCH OF THE DAY
Braves second baseman Daniel Castro made a spectacular catch of Mookie Betts’ blooper into shallow right field to set up a double play in the fourth.
With Price on first base following a walk, Castro ran with his back to the infield and reached over his shoulder to catch the ball as he slid on the outfield grass. As he was sliding, the ball popped out of his glove, but Castro reached and grabbed the ball with his bare right hand before rising to throw to first base for the double play.
“I felt the ball just kind of bounce off the tip of my glove and I just threw my right hand at it and I was able to catch it,” Castro said through a translator.
Asked if he had ever made a similar catch, Castro said “To be honest, no.”
BOW FOR BIG PAPI
There was a video tribute for David Ortiz, making his last visit to Atlanta, after the first inning. Fans responded with an ovation which grew louder when Ortiz popped out of the Boston dugout and tipped his cap, both to the fans and to the Braves dugout. Ortiz did not play.
Red Sox: RHP Carson Smith, on the 15-day DL with a right flexor muscle strain, is targeted for back-to-back appearances with Triple-A Pawtucket on Friday and Saturday. Manager John Farrell said Smith could join the team as early as next week when the Red Sox play at the Chicago White Sox. … LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (dislocated right kneecap) will make his first rehab assignment on Thursday at Pawtucket.
Red Sox: RHP Steven Wright (1-2, 1.40) will make his first start against the Braves as the teams travel to Boston for two more games. Wright is coming off a win over Houston in which he threw 6 2/3 scoreless innings.
Braves: RHP Bud Norris (1-3, 6.75) has allowed at least four runs in three straight starts. He is 2-3 with a 3.07 ERA in seven career starts against Boston.
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