Braves to La Stella: Don’t worry about it, keep your head up

MIAMI — After second baseman Tommy La Stella's error let in the game-ending run in the ninth inning of the Braves' 4-3 loss Thursday at Boston, several teammates tried to make sure the rookie didn't let his rough second night in the majors get him down.

“The guys have been great about it,” La Stella said. “A few of the guys came over and told me, ‘Don’t worry about it, you’re going to help us win a lot of games. Keep your head up and bring it tomorrow.’ I definitely appreciate that.”

The Red Sox erased a 3-1 Braves lead with two runs in the eighth on four hits and two errors by the Upton brothers, left fielder Justin Upton and center fielder B.J. Upton. In the ninth, Kimbrel walked the first two batters of the inning, then gave up a sharp infield single by Xander Bogaerts.

Third baseman Chris Johnson stopped it and hurried to make a throw to second base, where the Braves had a play until the ball popped out of La Stella’s glove.

“I just need to catch that ball,” he said. “ I’ve got to do whatever I’ve got to do to keep that ball in the infield. I got a glove on it, no problem. I need to play that play.”

La Stella was promoted from Triple-A on Wednesday and had two hits in his debut that night at Fenway Park. He went 0-for-3 Thursday, and the ninth-inning error wasn’t his only misplay in the field. In the eighth inning Dustin Pedroia was credited with a single on a grounder that La Stella fielded behind second base in an awkward position, falling before he could make a play.

With shortstop Andrelton Simmons approaching at the same time, La Stella appeared to halt for a moment before getting in position to field the ball.

“I need to make the aggressive mistake there, you know what I’m saying?” He said. “I need to attack and go to get that ball, and if (Simmons) cuts me off he cuts me off and steps on the bag himself. There’s really no excuse for me not being in position to make that play.

“In that situation with the double play in order, I’m in position to make that play and so is he. The guy’s the best defender on the planet. If he doesn’t get to the ball, that means it’s either my ball or it’s a base hit up the middle. So I’ve got to be in position to make that play. I need to be there and I need to make the aggressive mistake rather than the passive mistake, which I made….

“I was thinking double play. It was slowly hit but I was thinking I at least had a shot at it.”