If the Atlanta Braves needed a reminder of their starting pitching woes, then Sunday’s 12-10 win over the Philadelphia Phillies will serve as another example.
Atlanta’s offense came to life in the second inning against Phillies starter Jake Arrieta. Austin Riley did most of the heavy lifting in the inning with a double that scored the game’s first run and a two-run home run that capped off the 10-run inning. The Braves belted eight hits and worked two walks in the frame.
Arrieta recorded just one out in the second, allowing six hits, three walks and seven runs in just 1 1⁄3 innings.
Atlanta acquired veteran left-hander Tommy Milone from the Orioles on Sunday and wasted no time penciling him in as the starter for Sunday’s game. Milone worked a scoreless first and gave up a solo home run to Didi Gregorius in the second to cut the lead to 10-1.
The wheels came off for Milone in the third as Roman Quinn led off with a single and then came around to score on a double by Andrew McCutchen. Rhys Hoskins followed with a two-run bomb and the lead was suddenly 10-4.
Milone struck out Bryce Harper for the first out but then allowed back-to-back singles to J.T. Realmuto and Jean Segura to put runners at the corners. After a mound visit, Gregorius struck again with a triple down the right field line to cut the lead to 10-6.
That would be the end of the night for Milone as Brian Snitker summoned Luke Jackson from the bullpen. A ground out by Phil Gosselin scored Gregorius to make it 10-7. After a strikeout by Scott Kingery, Quinn singled again but McCutchen grounded out to Riley at third to bring merciful end to the inning.
It was a rocky debut to say the least for Milone who allowed eight hits and seven runs in just 2 1⁄3 innings.
Jackson issued back-to-back walks to Hoskins and Harper to begin the fourth. Realmuto lined out to right for the first out before Segura singled past Dansby Swanson on what could have been a double play ball to bring home Hoskins to make it 10-8.
That would be the end of the night for Jackson as Snitker went to A.J. Minter to try and restore order. Minter retired Gregorius on a fly out and then struck out Gosselin to end the threat. Minter ended up being perfect across five batters, striking out four of them, including the side in the fifth.
The Braves got a run back in the fifth as Johan Camargo doubled and came around to score on a single by Marcell Ozuna to make it 11-8.
Will Smith struck out Kingery to begin the eighth and then gave up back-to-back home runs to Quinn and McCutchen to cut the lead to 11-10. Smith recovered to get Hoskins and Harper to fly out to end the inning.
Dansby Swanson gave the Braves some much needed insurance in the ninth with a solo home run off of Heath Hembree to put the lead to 12-10. Mark Melancon hit Realmuto with his first pitch in the ninth but got Segura to ground into a 6-4-3 double play where Freddie Freeman saved a potentially errant throw. Gregorius grounded out to end the game.
Atlanta pounded out 15 hits in the game and worked 10 walks. Nick Markakis finished with three hits while Ozuna, Riley and Camargo had two each. Freeman extended his hitting streak to 13 with a single in the second inning.
Ronald Acuña Jr. left the game after the second inning due to what the team described as right hamstring tightness. The move was thought to be precautionary and Acuña isn’t expected to miss any additional time.
Atlanta will continue their road trip on Monday with a stop in Boston where they will open a three-game series against the Red Sox.