On Wednesday night, the Boston Red Sox defeated the Atlanta Braves 5-2 when pinch-hitter Raimel Tapia delivered a go-ahead RBI double in the seventh inning and Kenley Jansen became the seventh person to record 400 saves.
Jansen faced four batters for his ninth save in 10 opportunities.
“Locked in,” he said. “That’s a personal goal. We want to win games, make the playoffs, and win a championship. Another day. Stay focused. It was amazing.”
Jansen wanted to hit 400 at Fenway Park, but Atlanta was fine. In Curaçao, he cheered for Andruw Jones.
“It can’t be better coming against the team I grew up watching, loving, and I did it today here in their stadium,” Jansen said.
The 35-year-old right-hander is 22 saves behind Billy Wagner for sixth on the career list. Jansen retired Sean Murphy on a shallow fly, gave up a double to Eddie Rosario, retired Ozzie Albies on a flyout, then struck out Travis d’Arnaud to close it, dropping his ERA to 0.77.
Jansen is the first reliever since Francisco Rodríguez of Detroit in 2016 to surpass 400 saves. With 652 saves, Yankees pitcher Mariano Rivera leads.
“It was awesome, man,” said Jansen, who had 350 saves in 12 years with the Dodgers through 2021. “It was unforgettable.”
Tapia scored Jarren Duran from second against Nick Anderson. A.J. Minter (2-4) ran.
Triston Casas’ 442-foot two-run homer off Braves closer Raisel Iglesias made it 5-2 in the ninth. Iglesias allowed his first homer since June 16, ending a 42 2/3-inning stretch.
The Braves led the NL with an.809 OPS and.465 slugging percentage, but they didn’t score a run against Boston starter Brayan Bello (2-1) until Ronald Acuña Jr.’s seventh homer, a 470-foot blast to left with an exit velocity of 113.9 mph, cut the advantage to 2-1 in the sixth. Acuña’s fourth-longest career homer and season’s longest.
Austin Riley singled and scored from second on Rosario’s single to tie it.
“Good,” Acuña replied. “It’s great to hit a homer, but we lost.”
Bello allowed six hits and two runs in six innings.
Dylan Lee threw 2 2/3 hitless innings before Collin McHugh replaced him and allowed RBI doubles to Kiké Hernández and Duran to put Boston up 2-0 in the fourth.
Lee replaced ace Max Fried, who went on the disabled list Tuesday with a strained left forearm.
Red Sox ended two-game slide.
Bello limited the NL-best Braves to singles in the third, fourth, and fifth.
To commemorate Jansen, the clubhouse was closed to reporters for 20 minutes.
“It’s a testament to who he is,” Boston manager Alex Cora said. The eighth reliever with 400 saves was a catcher. He threw 99 mph today. He loves it.”
Red Sox: RHP Garrett Whitlock will throw a three-inning simulated game Thursday at Fenway Park. Cora expects Whitlock to begin therapy before returning. … Triple-A Worcester hurt RHP Bryan Mata’s shoulder.
Braves: RHP Kyle Wright said his shoulder inflammation recovery may take longer than Fried’s, who aims to return in July.
Red Sox: After a day off Thursday, LHP James Paxton (0-0, 0.00) will make his Boston debut in a three-game home series against St. Louis. Paxton, who returned Wednesday, has a right hamstring injury.
Braves: After an off day Thursday, RHP Spencer Strider (4-0, 2.70) will start a three-game series against Toronto against a yet-to-be-announced starter.