The game began on a high note for the Braves as Anibal Sanchez was able to work his way through the first three batters in order to send things to the offense. The offense did not disappoint either as Freddie Freeman and Nick Markakis hit consecutive singles to put runners on first and third in front of Kurt Suzuki who railed a single to right center for the early run scoring hit to give the Braves the lead.
With nothing else going in the first inning the Braves took their 1-0 lead and nursed it along over five solid innings from Anibal Sanchez who has been a blessing this season for the Atlanta club. Sanchez did run into some trouble for the first time in the sixth inning after a double to deep left off the bat of Alex Avila with no one out. Avila was then pushed over to third via sacrifice bunt by Arizona pitcher Zack Godley, who was amazing in his own regard on the mound, in front of Jon Jay who blooped a single to left to tie the game.
Sanchez was able to finish the sixth inning strong before exiting the game in favor of the Braves bullpen after another great night. Sanchez went six strong innings allowing only five hits and striking out six.
Zack Godley was also able to work through the bottom of the sixth inning to match Anibal after a season that hasn’t been kind to the Arizona starter. Godley finished his night with six innings in near perfect copy-cat form of Sanchez, allowing five hits and striking out seven Braves.
Sadly it seems Anibal leaving the game gave the Diamondbacks some newfound confidence which they then unleashed on Sam Freeman and Dan Winkler as the rains came. Freeman started off strong with a strikeout before walking the next batter Daniel Descalso. With Descalso on first Dan Winkler entered the game and immediately threw a very wild pitch pushing Descalso to second for Nick Ahmed who tapped a single to center which Ender could not field cleanly allowing Descalso to score the go-ahead run late. With a 2-1 lead Winkler was able to work through and finish the inning without further damage.
The Arizona bullpen was as good as advertised and did their job in both the seventh and eighth innings to set things up for the Diamondbacks closer Brad Boxberger. The Braves bullpen must also be commended for keeping things close after their leaky seventh inning which could’ve been much worse. Sadly that one extra run in the seventh was all it took tonight.
With the Braves down 2-1 in the bottom of the ninth Boxberger got pinch hitter Preston Tucker to strike out and then got Ronald Acuña Jr. to strike out and then capped the game by getting Dansby Swanson to strike out as well as the Braves went 1-9 in the game with runners in scoring position and simply could not get anything going offensively.
After the loss Atlanta will be right back at it tomorrow against the Diamondbacks. We hope you’ll join us then. Stay tuned.