What looked like was going to be a fairly uneventful loss Wednesday night at Truist Park, turned into a thrilling, ninth-inning comeback victory as the Braves break the Giants hearts in a 4-3 win.
Somewhat lost in the late inning heroics was just how good of a pitching duel this game was for the first seven innings between Charlie Morton and Carlos Rodon.
Morton’s night started ominously enough, giving up a first-inning solo home run to Giants’ outfielder Mike Yastremski and giving San Fransisco an early 1-0 lead. Give Morton credit though, he settled in nicely, giving up only one other solo home run in the fourth inning to catcher Darin Ruf and nothing else. For the game, Morton finished with a line of 7 innings pitched, 3 hits, 2 earned runs and 11 strikeouts.
This impressive outing followed a terrific start in Chicago in Morton’s last start and is welcomed sight for the team, given the veteran right-hander’s early season struggles. If Morton can find his form, the top of the Braves rotation along with potential All-Stars Max Fried and Kyle Wright could be as potent as any in baseball.
The problem for the Braves, at least most of the night, was Carlos Rodon was every bit as good as Morton, and even a little better. The veteran left-hander had a no-hitter going into the fifth inning until a bloop single from Orlando Arcia, and only gave up a single run in his last inning of work after a Marcell Ozuna leadoff single and a Matt Olson RBI double. The Braves were unable to get Olson home after being on second with no outs and Rodon finished the game with 7 innings pitched, 3 hits, 1 earned run, and 10 strikeouts.
Of course, little did we know, this is where the game was just getting started.
San Fransisco tacked on an insurance run against AJ Minter in the ninth after a hit-by-ptich that was followed by back-to-back singles to drive in the Giants third run, and made it look even more like this was going to be a disappointing night at the park. Then the fun started.
After Giants relievers John Brebbia pitched a perfect eighth, left-hander Jake McGee started the ninth by giving up a solo home run to Dansby Swanson to cut the lead to 3-2. McGee then allowed a single to Ozuna, who advanced to 2nd on a Matt Olson fly out and a lazy throw from centerfielder Austin Slater. Williams Contreras then stepped up to the plate and roped a clutch single to left field to tie the game at 3-3.
After Contreras stole 2nd on Arcia’s strikeout, Adam Duvall laced a single to center and Contreras moved just fast enough to get in under the throw and give the Braves and improbable 4-3 walk-off win.
With the win, the Braves moved to 40-30 on the year while the Giants fell to 38-30. The win also gives the Braves a one game lead over the Giants for the second Wild Card spot, as well as closing the gap in the NL East to 4.5 games as the Mets lost earlier in the day to the Houston Astros.
With the at least a split guaranteed, the Braves will go for the outright series win tomorrow as Kyle Wright squares off against former Braves Alex Wood. The game is a 12:20 afternoon start.