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BABIP and sequencing sinks Braves 5-2

That was one of the less fun games this season.

Atlanta Braves v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images

The Braves entered game 2 of te three game series in Toronto seeking to level the series behind Bryce Elder. The focus, however, was on the offense, after getting shut out by Chris Bassitt on Friday.

The first inning did nothing to ease those concerns, as two soft groundouts and a strikeout ended the Braves’ offensive hopes. Elder put up a zero in his half of the inning, but allowed a walk and got three outs on three balls hit over 100 MPH. The second inning was more fruitful for Atlanta, as Eddie Rosario legged out a soft grounder for a single and Marcell Ozuna cranked a two out, two run homer at 112.3 MPH off the bat. Elder got three more outs on three balls hit over 90 MPH, with one over 100 MPH in the bottom of the inning to solidify the lead.

A hard hit ground ball double from Arcia led off the third and a Matt Olson walk turned it into a serious threat after Ronald Acuna grounded out, moving Arcia to third. Unfortunately, Austin struck out and Sean grounded out weakly, unable to covert the threat into runs. Bryce allowed nothing but a soft lucky double to Merrifield in the bottom third. An Ozuna bloop and a Harris walk presented another threat in the fourth, but Arcia struck out to snuff it out. Vladdy led off the home fourth with a hard-hit double and advanced to third on a bit of a lucky single from Matt Chapman, hitting a grounder to the outer edge of Arcia’s right-sided range. Arcia attempted to throw it to first, but the throw was errant. No runners advanced on the throw. Vladdy scored on a soft groundout from Merrifield, but Elder stopped the bleeding there by striking out Belt.

The Atlanta offense managed two more baserunners, with a Ronald Acuna leadoff walk and an Austin Riley modestly hit single, but again failed to score, as George Springer made a great diving catch to end the inning, robbing Eddie Rosario of an RBI hit.

Soft contact bit Bryce Elder in the home fifth, as a soft Kiermaeir bloop double, in which he just barely beat Acuna’s throw to second turned into a run after a wild pitch and an even softer Bo Bichette bloop single. Fortunately, a 115 MPH laser beam off of Guerrero’s bat found an Atlanta glove for the third out.

After an uneventful sixth, a hard-hit Ronald Acuna single led off the seventh, and he stole second and third before Olson and Riley walked to load the bases. Sean Murphy grounded into a fielder’s choice, which Vladdy sent home to get the force out on Ronald, leaving the bases loaded. A Rosario strikeout and an Ozzie popout left the bases loaded, as the Braves squandered a big opportunity with the bases loaded and no outs to come up empty-handed. A these things often do, it came to bite the Braves in the next half-inning. AJ Minter came in to relieve Lee and suffered two soft singled with one out, followed by a double steal. Bo Bichette cashed in a run on a hard single before Vladdy hit a sac fly to give Toronto a 4-2 lead. AJ struck out Varsho to hold it there. Ozuna led off the eighth with a walk but was erased with a one out double-play. Whit Merrifield managed a one out walk from Joe Jimenez before stealing second and third. A two out Danny Jansen double gave Toronto insurance, extending the lead to three runs entering the ninth inning.

The Braves vaunted top three of the lineup went down 1-2-3 in the ninth and whoof that was not an enjoyable game. Hopefully the Braves can salvage a win tomorrow.

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