It was unlikely that Kyle Wright was going to comeback and immediately look like the guy that was so impressive for all of the last season. So a slow start isn't necessarily a surprise.
And that's what tonight was. A slow start.
Wright got through the first two innings without much trouble. A couple of scattered singles and a HBP. The fastball looked lively, but without much command. It was the third inning where everything unraveled.
It started with a single from leadoff man Jonathan India. And then a double by TJ Friedl. Then Wright went walk, HBP to bring in the first run and there was still no one out. He battled back to strike the next two hitters out and it looked like he might escape the trouble with just the one run scoring. But Spencer Steer hit a 1-2 pitch to an open spot to the left of Ozzie Albies for a two-run infield single. Wright then followed that with back-to back walks, the last of which brought in the fourth run of the night. Kyle was able to get India to groundout to end the inning, but the damage was done.
Wright finished the game with 3 innings pitched, 4 earned runs, 4 hits, 4 walks, 2 HBPs, and 3 strikeouts for his first start of the season. Better days surely to follow.
Luckily for Wright, and anyone who roots for the Braves, the offense came to play today.
Matt Olson got things started in the first with the hardest hit ball of his career, a 119 mph blast to right center-field for his fourth home run of the season to give the team an early 1-0 lead.
Olson OUT! #ForTheA pic.twitter.com/jNGBWa5fqZ— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) April 11, 2023
After the Reds had their big inning in the 3rd, the Braves game back in the bottom of the third with a leadoff double from Sam Hilliard and an RBI single from Ronald Acuna Jr, to make it 4-2.
After Michael Tonkin came in from the bullpen to shut Cincinnati down for three innings, the offense went back to work in the bottom of the 4th. Sean Murphy started it with a walk, and Ozzie Albies got off the struggle bus with a line drive HR to right. It was Ozzie’s second HR of the season and the Braves had erased the deficit.
1️⃣0️⃣0️⃣@ozzie | #ForTheA pic.twitter.com/JQkzZa6XBb— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) April 12, 2023
Later that same inning, Marcel Ozuna, yes Marcell Ozuna, singled through the left side for his first non-homer hit of the season. Sam Hilliard then stepped up and launched a double to left-center field to drive Ozuna in from first and give Atlanta a 5-4 lead.
Back in front, courtesy of Sam!#ForTheA pic.twitter.com/z1SPDpW75n— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) April 12, 2023
Braves tacked single runs in the bottom of the 5th and 7th innings to make it 7-4 game and it looked like the Braves may coast to a win for the first time since the St Louis series. The Reds had other plans ,unfortunately.
In the top of the 8th, Cincinnati got a lead off single followed by a monster two-run HR from SS Jose Barrero for his first HR of the season. A comfortable 7-4 game was now a very uncomfortable 7-6 game.
But Atlanta’s bullpen held from there, as Dylan Lee came in to finish off the 8th and Nick Anderson took the ninth and collected his first save of the year as Atlanta held of the Reds 7-6.
Braves moved to 8-4 on the season and officially win the 3-game series. They’ll look for the sweep tomorrow night as Spencer Strider faces off against Hunter Greene at Truist Park.