Vaughn Grissom’s first start as a big leaguer was one to remember, as the newest member of the Atlanta Braves picked up his first hit and first career home run with just one mighty swing of the bat. His home run was part of another big night at the plate for the Braves, as Atlanta powered past the Red Sox to the tune of an 8-4 victory.
There wasn’t a lot of action at the plate for the first three innings of this one, as both Kyle Wright and Nick Pivetta were settling into the game. Wright ran into a tiny bit of trouble in the second inning when the Red Sox strung together two singles, but Vaughn Grissom made a composed play on a ground ball for the second out and then Wright struck out Jarren Duran to end the threat there.
Once the fourth inning rolled around, we finally saw the Braves get something going at the plate. Matt Olson led off the inning with a single and then Eddie Rosario got on with a walk to turn this into a scoring chance for Marcell Ozuna. Nowadays, this is probably the last person in the lineup that you want to see in this situation. Ozuna went into this game with a wRC+ of 78 for the season and a wRC+ of 1 (yes, just one) in the month of August. I’m happy to inform you that his wRC+ will now be higher than 1 for the month of August, as Ozuna finally capitalized on a mistake and sent it soaring into the cool New England sky to make it 3-0 Braves at that juncture of the game.
The Red Sox didn’t take that lying down, as they responded in the fifth inning by leading off that frame with a Bobby Dalbec double and a Jarren Duran single. From this point forward, Kyle Wright did an excellent job of damage control as Boston only scored one run out of this situation. Atlanta traded a double play for a run and then Kyle Wright got Xander Bogaerts to meekly ground out following a single to end the inning right there.
By the time the seventh inning rolled around, both starting pitchers were exiting the game and the contest opened up a bit once the relievers got involved. Darwinzon Hernandez came on as the first man out of Boston’s bullpen and was eventually greeted by Michael Harris II getting on before setting the stage for Vaughn Grissom’s third career major league at-bat. While this was Grissom’s first day in the big leagues, he showed that he was still fully capable of taking advantage of a mistake pitch.
Hernandez left a fastball right down the middle in the zone and Grissom got every last stitch of it and absolutely mashed it over the Green Monster. Not many people can say that their first career hit was a home run and even fewer people can say that they pulled off the same feat at Fenway Park. Vaughn Grissom can now claim all of that as he was surely on dream street after he flipped the bat and touched all the bags.
In an ideal world, that would’ve been the end of the scoring and we would be spending this time gushing over Vaughn Grissom’s memorable debut. Instead, the Red Sox once again picked themselves up off the mat and took a huge chunk out of the four-run deficit with the first chance they had. Dylan Lee came on to take the baton from Kyle Wright and the Red Sox didn’t have much trouble with Lee. Two singles with one out brought Tommy Pham to the plate and Lee unfortunately left a 92-mph meatball right down the middle and Pham crushed it all the way over the wall in center field. Following a strikeout, Kirby Yates made his return to the bigs a successful one by getting the final out of the seventh inning but the game was right back in the balance at 5-4.
Fortunately, the Braves were up to the task of rebuilding their lead. Matt Olson and William Contreras both singled with one out and then Eddie Rosario made it three one-out hits in a row as he smacked a double off the Green Monster to put Atlanta back up by two. Marcell Ozuna then contributed a sacrifice fly, which gave him a four-RBI night and gave the Braves a three-run lead once again. A.J. Minter silenced Boston’s bats in the eighth inning to ensure that the game was still 7-4 heading into the ninth.
Vaughn Grissom wasn’t done leaving a positive first impression on everybody watching this game. He picked up another single to lead off the ninth inning and then followed that up with his first career stolen base at the big league level. The single and stolen base eventually turned into Grissom’s second career run, as Dansby Swanson swatted a single down the right field line to make it 8-4 Braves.
8-4 was how the game ended, as Raisel Iglesias pitched a perfect ninth inning to lock down the win and confirm the two-game sweep for the Braves at Fenway Park. This quick series was a much-needed bounce-back following the events that unfolded over the weekend and Atlanta will now be heading into the final leg of their road trip on a high note. Vaughn Grissom will surely be riding high as well, as the rookie had a dream start to his major league career. While there’s no telling how his career is going to go from here, we all couldn’t have asked for a better start for his career.