Mallex Smith played catalyst from the bottom of the Braves' order Thursday, finishing 3-for-4 with two doubles, two RBI and a run scored in a 5-3 win over the Red Sox.
Smith actually could have had a bigger night, but his line drive to right field with two on in the second inning bounced over the short Fenway wall, rendering it a ground-rule double and keeping Smith confined to two bases and just one RBI. He also swatted an RBI single in the sixth. It was easily Smith's best game as a member of the Braves, as the speedster is hitting just .188/.278/.292 through 16 games, even with Thursday's outburst.
Hanley Ramirez went 3-for-4 with a double and two RBI against the Braves on Thursday.
Ramirez had an RBI single in the first before cracking a run-scoring double in the third. He's driven in a run in four straight games and six of his last seven, giving him 13 RBI overall. After a disappointing first year in his new digs, the 32-year-old is batting .287/.304/.402 as the Red Sox' primary first baseman this season.
Nick Markakis went 4-for-5 with three RBI in a win over the Red Sox on Thursday.
Markakis had a two-run single in the second inning before notching another RBI single two innings later. Playing for the Braves, Markakis has gone largely unnoticed this season, but all the veteran has done is bat .305/.412/.439 with 11 doubles, 19 RBI and nine runs scored. He's likely to be one of the few bright spots for the Braves this season.
Freddie Freeman stayed hot Thursday, finishing 3-for-4 with a walk in a win over the Red Sox.
After an ugly start, Freeman has quietly improved at the plate in recent days. In his last six games, the first baseman is 10-for-23 (.434) with two doubles and two RBI. He's still not hitting the ball over the boards -- he has just two homers on the year -- but the power will come as he continues to get more comfortable at the dish.
Clay Buchholz had a hard time Thursday, allowing five runs on eight hits over 6 1/3 innings in a loss to the Braves.
Buchholz has been remarkably consistent in a bad way this season, allowing exactly five runs in four of his five starts. On Thursday, he walked four to go with his eight hits allowed while striking out just two. Not surprisingly, he's still winless heading into May, as the loss dropped him to 0-3 with a 6.51 ERA and 1.59 WHIP. A date with the White Sox looms on Tuesday.
Jhoulys Chacin allowed two runs on six hits over five innings in Thursday's win over the Red Sox.
It was a typical Chacin start -- bend but don't break, and hope it's good enough. It was Thursday, as the Braves actually provided him with some run support. He's been decent through four starts, compiling a 3.27 ERA, 1.18 WHIP and 23/4 K/BB ratio over 22 innings. He'll try to keep it going Tuesday at the Mets.
Manny Machado went 2-for-4 with a grand slam, five RBI and three runs scored as the Orioles trounced the White Sox 10-2 on Thursday.
Machado jumped on a slider from reliever Jake Petricka in the sixth inning to turn a relatively close game into a blowout. The homer was his seventh of the season, tying him for second-most in the American League (including with his teammate Chris Davis). The 23-year-old has 16 RBI and 19 runs scored to go with a .333/.389/.678 line through 21 games.
Todd Frazier hit a two-run home run in Thursday's loss to the Orioles.
The homer, his sixth of the season, was also his only hit in four at-bats. His six home runs have buoyed what has otherwise been a fairly pedestrian start to his White Sox career. Frazier is batting .236/.296/.472 with 15 RBI and 11 runs scored on the year.