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Red Sox End Losing Streak, Defeat Braves 8-6

David Ortiz smacks 3-run homer to tie game. Photo by Scott Cunningham / Getty Images

David Ortiz and the Boston Red Sox were in desperate need of a big hit.

On Monday, at long last, Big Papi delivered.

Ortiz homered and drove in four runs as the defending World Series champions ended their 10-game losing streak, rallying from a five-run deficit to defeat the Atlanta Braves 8-6.

“It’s been too long since we last shook hands following a win,” manager John Farrell.

Farrell called it “a total team win,” then pointed to the two powerful bats in the middle of the lineup – Ortiz and Dustin Pedroia.

“In 10 games prior to today, there was one RBI combined,” he said. “That’s not to put it all on them, but they being in the middle of the lineup, their contributions are key to us.”

Pedroia hit a two-run single before Ortiz tied the game with a three-run homer off Ervin Santana in the fifth inning.

With Red Sox fans at Turner Field chanting “Papi! Papi!” Ortiz then gave Boston the lead with a bases-loaded sacrifice fly off Ian Thomas (1-2) in the seventh.

Ortiz hit only .118 with no RBIs in Boston’s longest losing streak in 20 years, but that didn’t dim his star appeal to Red Sox Nation South. The roar following Ortiz’s homer startled A.J. Pierzynski, who was waiting on deck.

“When David hit that homer, that was probably the loudest cheer as a visitor I’ve ever heard, especially since I was on deck and sort of got the full force of it,” Pierzynski said.

Game two of the four-game home-and-home is Tuesday night, with left Jon  Lester on the mound for Boston.  WBSM’s coverage starts at 6:25pm with the pre-game show.

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