Spencer Strider got the start for the Braves and turned in another solid performance. He sat the side down in order in the first and then pitched around a leadoff walk in the second. He came back out for the third and exited after a walk and another strikeout.
Strider showed his trademark velocity on his fastball, but got several ugly swings with his off-speed stuff.
Spencer Strider, Dirty Sliders.— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) March 28, 2022
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The Braves got on the board in the second as Adam Duvall reached on a bad hop single past Bo Bichette at short. Austin Riley scored on the play to give Atlanta a 1-0 lead.
William Contreras started in right field on Sunday and was back behind the plate for Tuesday’s game. Brian Snitker said before the game that Contreras could see some time in the outfield at Gwinnett as Atlanta looks for ways to get his bat into the lineup. He extended the lead in the fifth with a long home run to right center to make it 2-0.
Ozzie Albies added a solo shot of his own two batters later to make it 3-0.
Will Smith and Kenley Jansen tossed a pair of perfect innings in the fifth and the sixth while combining for three strikeouts.
The Braves tacked on two more runs in the sixth. Alex Dickerson doubled on an infield pop up that Toronto third baseman Trevor Schwecke couldn’t track down. Duvall followed with a double to left that scored Dickerson to make it 4-0. Orlando Arcia added another run with a bloop single to right center that scored pinch-runner Justin Dean.
The Blue Jays finally got some offense going in the seventh against Tyler Matzek. Teoscar Hernandez led off the inning with a single and moved up to second on a walk by Lourdes Gurriel Jr. Greg Bird followed with a single to left to score Hernandez to cut the deficit to 5-1. Gurriel scored two groundouts later to make it 5-2.
Matzek was replaced by Tyler Ferguson who plunked the first batter he faced and then allowed a run-scoring single to Kellin Deglan to cut the lead to 5-3.
Toronto drew closer in the eighth when Samad Taylor hit a solo home run off of Odalvi Javier. Connor Johnstone recorded the final three outs to seal the win.
- Tyler Thornburg took over for Strider in the third and didn’t allow a hit over 1 2/3 scoreless innings. Thornburg is competing for one of the final spots in the bullpen and hasn’t allowed anything in 2 2/3 innings this spring.
- Phil Gosselin saw his first action of the spring going 0-for-1 at the plate. Gosselin is among the group of players competing for one of the final bench spots.
- The Braves will enjoy their only off day of the spring Tuesday before returning to action Wednesday against Boston.