ATLANTA (Ticker) -- The
Boston Red Sox
may be a disappointment, but
continues to pitch like an ace.
Schilling pitched a six-hitter for his second complete game of the season and
belted a grand slam as the
stopped a four-game losing streak with a 6-1 victory over the
Expected to challenge the
New York Yankees
in the American League East Division this season, the
entered Saturday 8 1/2 games behind their archrivals. Boston also had been an unimpressive 13-19 since May 27.
Schilling (11-4) has been the
's most consistent pitcher and was again in this one as he tied Texas'
for the league lead in wins. The righthander walked one and struck out 10 en route to his 81st career complete game.
"Given this club, I didn't expect to pitch to break up a lot of streaks," said Schilling, who is 6-3 following losses by the
. "But that's part of the reason they got me. I knew coming into the game today that our bullpen was warn out. We needed innings out of me to stay fresh."
's win," said shortstop
, who is 6-for-9 with a home run since being criticized for sitting out Thursday's extra-inning loss at New York. "Curt went out there and pitched a gem."
Mirabelli broke open a close game with two outs in the sixth when he sent a 3-2 pitch from
over the left-center field wall, giving the
a 6-0 lead. It was his second career grand slam.
"There's no way I play this game if we had normal games the last few days," said Mirabelli, whose other grand slam came on August 21, 2001 at Anaheim. "When you jump in the (lineup), you want to make sure you battle. I didn't feel good until the last three pitches (of the at-bat)."
"I put the ball right over the middle of the plate," said Thomson, who has surrendered a team-leading 15 homers this season. "I can't do that."
added solo homers for the
, who snapped a six-game road losing streak.
"That was definitely needed, said Damon of Schilling's dominating performance. "He knew the bullpen needed some rest. He just knew how big this game was and he stepped up."
The Braves best opportunity to get to Schilling came in the fifth. With one out, rookie
doubled and Thomson singled to put runners on the corners. But Schilling hunkered down, striking out
on six straight pitches.
"(Mirabelli) made six good calls in a row," Schilling said. "I felt like I needed to rear back and make pitches there, the key is not giving up command."
"When we had the opportunity to score runs, he went at some of the guys," Braves outfielder
. "He was throwing his pitch to get out of jams."
Thomson (6-7) was roughed up for six runs and nine hits in 5 2/3 innings.
With the loss, the Braves (39-41) clinched their first losing record at the midway point of the season since 1990 when they were 33-48 through 81 games.
The crowd of 51,831 was the largest in Turner Field history.