Facing a good started for Seattle, with Jesse Chavez starting a bullpen game, the Braves did not have an easy matchup on Saturday night.
Jesse did his job in the first, working around a walk and a soft single for a scoreless inning. Offensively, things started very well for the Braves, with the first three plate appearances resulting in balls hit over 100 MPH, with a single from Ronald Acuna, a homer from Matt Olson, and a single from Sean Murphy.
Another day, another @mattolson21 homer!#ForTheA pic.twitter.com/SdQwDtdCkC— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) May 20, 2023
Ozzie walked with two outs, but nothing productive happened after that for Atlanta, leaving the lead at 2-0. After that, the pitchers settled in, with Chavez leaving after 2.1 innings, making way for Michael Tonkin. Ronald Acuna and Matt Olson each barreled a ball their second time seeing Gilbert, but both resulted in outs, unfortunately.
Tonkin landed himself in big trouble in the fourth, allowing three singles to load the bases with one out, aided by a fielding error from Orlando Arcia. A sac fly and another single later and the Braves had gone from up 2-0 to down 3-2. The inning yielded no further runs. The Braves offense had nothing working in the bottom of the fourth and Tonkin was given the fifth in a questionable decision, which resulted in a leadoff walk, a single that advanced the runner to third, a sac fly, and an RBI single, making the score 5-2. Joe Jimenez was then given the ball after that damage was done. To his credit, Jimenez was great, striking out three of the five batters he faced, getting five outs, while the Braves offense could only provide an Austin Riley single. Unfortunately, next out of the pen was Kirby Yates, who issued a leadoff walk to Julio Rodriguez and a one out homer to Eugenio Suarez. He then issued another walk, got a strikeout, and allowed a single, before mercifully ending the inning with a strikeout.
A lucky single from Marcell Ozuna to prolong his 8 game hitting streak was the only Braves baserunner of the seventh, in the middle of three strikeouts. After a refreshing 1-2-3 inning from Lucas Luetge, the Braves’ offense showed some life, as Ronald Acuna led off the eighth with and single and Matt Olson followed it with a double, moving Ronald to third. Sean Murphy nearly lined into a double-play at second, but Olson’s dive was just in time by a tenth of a second. Another line drive turned into an out, as Austin Riley hit a ball with an xBA of .710 for a sacrifice to score Acuna. Eddie Rosario flied out to end the inning. Despite Luetge’s effectiveness and efficiency in the eighth, Snitker opted to use Minter in the ninth, who struck out two in a 1-2-3 inning.
Ozzie struck out looking on a dubious called strike before Ozuna singled in the ninth. Orlando Arcia then ended any hope of a miracle by grounding into a double play.