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Braves’ offense continues to scuffle in 3-2 loss

Miami Marlins v Atlanta Braves Photo by Edward M. Pio Roda/Getty Images

Kyle Muller started the game as well as you could want, by striking out the side in the top of the first. Acuna led off the home first with a walk, although the more traditional way this time. Alcantara was clearly not sharp, as he then walked Freddie. Unfortunately, Ozzie, Austin, and Dansby all went down in order, stranding Ronald and Freddie. Muller and Alcantara each cruised through the second inning without much trouble, but Muller blinked first in the third inning, as a single from Berti and a sac bunt from Alcantara set up Berti on second before Jazz Chisholm brought him home with a single of his own. To be fair, Berti and Chisholm’s singles each had an xBA of less than .500. Kyle lost his command at this point, walking Marte, and requiring a mound visit from Kranitz after going 2-0 down to Cooper. Muller started throwing strikes again, but Cooper took one at the bottom of the zone and turned on it for an RBI single, before he was thrown out trying to stretch it to a double on a nice relay by Dansby. Muller got a quick lineout from Aguilar to stop the bleeding there.

Acuna led off the bottom of the third with another walk, but was caught trying to steal second. This particularly hurt because Freddie then singled and Ozzie had a single of his own, that would have scored Ronald. Austin Riley grounded out to end the inning without the Braves having anything to show on the scoreboard for a walk and two hits. Muller walked another Marlin in the fourth, but that was the only baserunner he allowed in a scoreless inning. An error put Dansby on first to lead off the home fourth, but a double play erased that runner. Abraham Almonte singled with two outs, but Kevan Smith was unable to do anything to elongate the threat, as he grounded out to end the inning. Muller breezed through the Marlins in the fifth, striking out two. A fielding error let Ronald reach first and Freeman singled to set up runners on first and third with one out. Ozzie delivered with an RBI single. Austin Riley grounded a 100 MPH fastball right up the middle to a perfectly positioned Chisholm, who turned it for an inning-ending double play.

Muller returned in the sixth, facing the third time through the order and immediately gave up a homer on the first pitch to Garrett Cooper. Kyle battled to get two outs but walked Sanchez and was pulled from the game. Jesse Chavez came into the game and got an Alfaro groundout in two pitches to end the game. Dansby led off the bottom of the frame with a single and stole second later in the inning. The rest of the Braves offense went down softly, without scoring him, however. Jesse Chavez worked around a walk for a scoreless seventh. An extremely lucky bloop double for Ehire Adrianza led off the bottom of the seventh and a wild pitch moved him over to third with Ronald Acuna at bat. Acuna struck out on a full count to a perfect pitchers pitch on the upper inside corner of the zone. Freddie Freeman singled to bring home Adrianza. Ozzie popped out for the second out, handing the fate of the inning over to Austin Riley, who passed the baton to Dansby with a walk. Dansby worked a long at-bat, but ultimately grounded out to third, leaving the Braves down by one run.

Edgar Santana came into a one run game in the eighth after a taxing Friday game for the bullpen and he...worked an easy 1-2-3 inning. Guillermo Heredia led the inning off with a single, but two groundouts ended the inning without any more threat from Atlanta. Tyler Matzek came in for the ninth inning and gave up a leadoff single before getting a groundout and a lineout on a really nice play by Acuna. Matzek struck out the final batter to hand the fate of the game to the top of the lineup of the scuffling Braves offense. Panda and Acuna went down before Freddie Freeman hit a single. Ozzie smoked a ball right at the right-fielder to end the game.

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