Kyle Wright pitched two scoreless innings to start today’s game between the Braves and the Cardinals and that set the tone for the rest of the pitching staff as they threw a shutout in a 4-0 spring win for the Braves.
The big story today in Jupiter, Florida was the great work on the mound from the Braves. Kyle Wright got things going on the bump for the Braves as he kept the Cardinals in check for two good innings. He gave up two hits but didn’t walk anybody and also picked up three strikeouts while he was out there.
Luke Jackson entered the game in the third inning and if anybody needed a bounce-back effort at this point of spring training, it was Jackson. He gave up four earned runs in his last outing, but this time things went much more smoothly for the righty. He threw an inning without giving up a hit and struck out two batters during his outing, with the strikeouts coming against Tyler O’Neill and Kolten Wong.
After that, Kolby Allard was called upon to get some work in and he kept the shutout train going for the Braves as he matched Kyle Wright with two scoreless innings of his own. He didn’t strike anybody out but he did escape a sticky situation in the fourth inning. He walked Marcell Ozuna and Jedd Gyorko to put two on with one out in that frame, but Allard was fortunate to induce a double play ball to escape with a zero on the scoreboard.
There was no such drama in the next frame for Kolby Allard as he retired the Cardinals in order to end the fifth inning. At that point, it was evident that this was going to be a pitching clinic as both teams found it extremely difficult to move the runners across the basepaths. Ronald Acuña Jr. reached via walk to lead off the fourth inning, but he was only able to make it to second base. Meanwhile, Pedro Florimon started off the fifth inning with a ground rule double, but that was as far as he got as the Cardinals retired the Braves in order from that point forward to get out of the inning unscathed.
The Braves got two men on with two out in the sixth inning after Ozzie Albies took a walk and Charlie Culberson got hit by a pitch. However, Johan Camargo harmlessly popped out to end the scoring threat right then and there.
There wouldn’t be another scoring chance for the Braves until the eighth inning and you could argue that the Cardinals were basically escorting the Braves across the basepaths in what ended up being a big inning. A walk, single and another walk loaded up the bases and then the Cardinals booted the ball around and two runs scored on an error from Edmundo Sosa. Sean Kazmar added a single to load up the bases again and then Seth Elledge threw a wild pitch to give the Braves their third run of the inning. A sacrifice fly from Luis Marte made it 4-0 Braves and the scoring would stop there.
After Joey Wentz finished off the Cardinals with a scoreless inning to complete the shutout, the Braves had finished the game by sending five straight lefties to the mound for the Cardinals to try to deal with. As it turns out, they couldn’t deal with them today as they were unable to score and never really looked likely to score, either.
This was a really good day for the Braves as far as pitching is concerned, and you especially have to be encouraged with what Kyle Wright showed during his two innings on the mound. Hopefully we’ll see more of the same tomorrow as the Braves play host to the Tigers.