For a while, Boston looked to be headed for another loss after Atlanta scored six runs in the first four innings off a wild and ineffective Clay Buchholz. But the Red Sox battled back with five runs in the fifth inning after a lengthy rain delay thanks to a two-run single from Dustin Pedroia and a three-run homer by David Ortiz.
Two more runs in the seventh (the go-ahead run driven home by an Ortiz sac fly) put Boston up 8-6 and allowed Koji Uehara to come on for his first save since May 11.
On May 14, when the losing streak began, the Red Sox sat at 20-19 and a half-game behind the Orioles for first place in the AL East. Fast forward to Tuesday, and Boston is now 21-29 and eight games behind the Toronto Blue Jays. The Red Sox's chances of making the playoffs stand at 10.1 percent, according to ESPN.
Another poor performance from Buchholz tempered too much excitement regarding the win, anyhow, with the right-hander unable to record an out in the fourth inning after walking eight batters and surrendering six runs. Buchholz's 7.02 ERA is now the highest in MLB among qualified starters.
Valverde implodes then gets released in Mets' loss
Signed in the spring to a minor league deal, Valverde's pitching in a Mets uniform had been predictably gruesome. The right-hander posted a 5.66 ERA in 21 appearances out of the bullpen and even spent time as the team's closer, picking up two saves.
Valverde's meltdown blew Jacob deGrom's chance at picking up his first big league win, as the rookie impressed again, shutting out the Pirates over 6⅔ innings despite some control issues.
The Mets have now dropped nine of their last 12 games, although the bullpen hasn't necessarily been to blame. Mets relievers place right in the middle of the pack among NL bullpens in ERA (3.71) and FIP (4.08), and rookie Jenrry Mejia has shown signs of being a solid back-end option since transitioning to relief.
Teixeira out of Yankees lineup with wrist stiffness, Beltran progressing
The Yankees scratched Mark Teixeira from their lineup Monday with stiffness in his surgically repaired right wrist.
Teixeira missed most of 2013 with a wrist injury, and Yankees manager Joe Girardi admitted he was concerned, even though Teixeira remains day-to-day. Losing the first baseman for any period of time would be a tough setback for the Yankees, even if Teixeira isn't the hitter he once was. The 34-year-old leads New York with nine home runs and is also sporting a solid .365 on-base percentage.
Carlos Beltran took his first swings since he landed on the DL with bone spurs in his elbow. The switch-hitting Beltran hasn't played since May 12 and will have to go on a rehab assignment before returning to the majors.
If he suffers any pain or setbacks, however, Beltran could be headed for surgery, which would shelve him for an additional eight to 10 weeks.
Stanton is building a case for MVP votes
In a season of injuries, Giancarlo Stanton's health has been a positive for baseball fans and lovers of the long ball. Stanton hit another homer for the Marlins in their 3-2 win against the Nationals and now leads the NL in home runs with 15.
This one was especially crushed, even for Stanton, who deposited a Tanner Roark pitch over the center field fence to an area where baseballs don't often go.
The 24-year-old Stanton is now batting .316/.404/.622 in 2014 with 29 extra-base hits. He is well on pace to top his previous career high of 37 home runs, and if it weren't for Troy Tulowitzki, Stanton's numbers would be the best of any NL hitter.
Meanwhile, the Marlins are still hovering above the Nationals and remain within striking distance of the NL East's top spot. With Stanton performing like he has, Miami's slugger should garner some awards votes by season's end, especially if the Marlins can remain in contention.