The Braves hadn’t seen Ricky Nolasco since 2013, but they picked up right where they left off against the right-hander who has always struggled with Atlanta.
Nolasco got an early trip to the locker room, as a six-run third inning propelled the Braves to a 6-3 win over the Angels on Monday night at Angels Stadium.
Atlanta notched all six of its runs in the game with two outs in the third inning, as Nolasco was unable to escape the frame. After he recorded the first two outs sandwiched around back-to-back singles from Dansby Swanson and Ender Inciarte, Matt Kemp walked to load the bases and set the stage.
Matt Adams slapped a pitch down the left field line for a ground-rule double to give the Braves a 2-1 lead. Kemp scored to make it 3-1 as Tyler Flowers reached on an error by Angels third baseman Cliff Pennington.
The Braves took advantage of that error when Rio Ruiz stepped in and ripped a single through the right side to score another run. Danny Santana drove in the final two runs of the inning to give Atlanta a 6-1 edge, as he hit one off the out-of-town scoreboard on the right field wall.
Nolasco was charged with just two earned runs in the 2 2⁄3 innings of work, due to the error with two outs. He allowed six hits, with two walks and two strikeouts.
The Angels struck first in the second inning, as Andrelton Simmons got the best of his former teammate — Braves starter Julio Teheran — by giving one a ride to left for a solo home run.
Teheran was solid in his 6 1⁄3 innings of work, allowing six hits and three runs. All three runs came via solo homer. Simmons hit his fifth of the season in the second inning, and Albert Pujols and Luis Valbuena hit back-to-back blasts in the fourth inning to cut the Braves lead to 6-3.
The Angels mounted their biggest threat in the seventh when they loaded the bases with one out to send Teheran to the showers. Jose Ramirez came on and induced a double play by Cameron Maybin, who hit a chopper to Ruiz at third base to start the 5-4-3 twin killing.
Inciarte finished the night with a pair of hits, the only Brave to do so. Fans got to see three former Braves compete for the Angels. Maybin led off and was 0-for-3, Simmons was 1-for-4 with his solo homer, and Eric Young Jr. made his Anaheim debut in place of Trout and was 1-for-3.
In fortunate timing for the Braves but bad news overall for the Angels and the game of baseball, Mike Trout was injured on Sunday sliding into second base and was placed on the disabled list prior to Monday’s game. During the contest, the team announced that Trout will need surgery to repair the UCL in his left thumb.
TROUT UPDATE: Mike Trout will have surgery on Wednesday to repair UCL in his left thumb. Typical timetable for return is 6 to 8 weeks.— Angels PR (@LAAngelsPR) May 30, 2017
The two teams are back at it again on Tuesday night. First pitch is set for 10:07 p.m. ET.