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Orlando Arcia walks it off, bullpen stands strong in 5-3 Braves win

An ending that was both highly unexpected and entirely expected

MLB: MAY 11 Red Sox at Braves Photo by David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

In a game that became a battle of the bullpens after each starting pitcher gave up three runs, the Braves came out on top courtesy of some very good relief pitching (with a big helping hand from the umpire on one pitch) and a walk-off home run from none other than Orlando Arcia to secure the two game series split.

Ian Anderson retired the side in order in the first, but ran into trouble in the second. Alex Verdugo doubled with one out and then came around to score on Trevor Story’s first home run of the season.

The Red Sox tacked on another run in the third. Jackie Bradley Jr. led off with a hard hit single to right but was thrown out trying to steal by Travis d’Arnaud. Anderson retired Kike Hernandez for the second out but then allowed a two-out double to Rafael Devers and then an RBI single to J.D. Martinez to extend the lead to 3-0.

The Braves got on the board in the bottom half of the inning as Orlando Arcia singled with one out and then scored on a long two-run home run by Travis Demeritte.

Dansby Swanson worked a walk and then swiped second base. Matt Olson followed with his 14th double of the season to tie the game.

Anderson retired the side in order in the fourth and then pitched around a leadoff double by Kevin Plawecki in the fifth. He came back out for the sixth and allowed a leadoff single to Martinez. Xander Bogaerts popped out for the first out, but Verdugo worked a walk bringing an end to Anderson’s night.

Collin McHugh took over on the mound and got Story to ground into a force play at second for the second out. McHugh then walked Franchy Cordero on four pitches to load the bases. He ran the count full to Plawecki who was then rung up on strike three (that was questionable, to say the least) by home plate umpire Adam Beck. Plawecki protested and was ejected. Red Sox manager Alex Cora followed soon after.

Anderson wasn’t his sharpest, but he again was able to minimize the damage. He allowed seven hits, three runs and a walk to go along with four strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings. He threw 96 pitches with 60 going for strikes.

A.J. Minter struck out Bradley and Devers in a perfect seventh. Minter hasn’t allowed a run in his last seven appearances dating back to April 24 against the Marlins.

Nathan Eovaldi allowed the three runs in the third, but otherwise held the Braves at bay. He struck out Adam Duvall to begin the seventh and then allowed a single to Arcia before giving way to Matt Strahm who struck out Demeritte and Swanson to end the inning. Eovaldi allowed six hits and three runs over 6 1/3 . He struck out six and walked one while throwing 98 pitches.

Will Smith came on to pitch for the Braves in the eighth. He issued a one-out walk to Bogaerts, but struck out Verdugo and then got Story to fly out harmlessly to Ozuna in left for the final out.

With the game tied in the ninth, Brian Snitker turned to Kenley Jansen who struck out Cordero, but then walked Vasquez. Jansen jumped ahead of Bradley 0-2 and put him away with a nasty slider for the second out. Hernandez flew out to Ozuna on the first pitch he saw to end the inning.

Ozzie Albies led off the ninth with an opposite field single off of Boston right-hander Ryan Brasier. After a fly out by Duvall, Brasier fell behind Arcia 2-0 and was apparently determined to avoid walking Arcia as he grooved a fastball right down the middle. Orlando Arcia was happy to oblige as he smoked it to left center field for a walk-off home run. This was Arcia’s first career walk-off and his third hit of the night.

That leaves the home series with the Red Sox at a two game split. The Braves will have an off-day on Thursday before they resume their homestand on Friday against San Diego in a game that will be on Apple TV+, although accessible for free through Apple TV+.