Coming off of a rough loss on Friday night, the Braves looked to Spencer Strider to pave the way to a return to the win column.
Both pitchers cruised through the first two innings without any baserunners before the first batter reached in the third, as Jorge Mateo led off the inning with a soft-hit double. He reached third on a balk, but Strider struck out the side to keep Baltimore scoreless. The Braves flipped the script in the bottom of the inning, as Marcell Ozuna continued his hot streak and hit an opposite field homer for the game’s first run. Michael Harris walked and Grissom struck out. Ronald Acuna laced a ball right to the centerfielder and Michael Harris ran through it, resulting in an inning-ending double-play on a ball hit over 107 MPH with a 17 degree launch angle.
The Orioles came back in the top of the fourth, however, as Mountcastle singled and Santander doubled, eventually to be plated by a soft Frazier line drive single. In the bottom of the inning, it was the Braves’ turn to come back, starting with a Matt Olson leadoff line drive single to left field. After a flyout from Austin Riley, Sean Murphy was hit by a pitch, moving Olson to second, who was brought home by a solid Eddie Rosario single. Ozzie Albies struck out and Marcell Ozuna hit a swinging bunt that required a great play from the Orioles’ pitcher and first baseman to retire the side on. After Strider worked a 1-2-3 inning, collecting his ninth and tenth strikeouts, it was the Braves’ turn to threaten again. Grissom snuck a double down the line that really should have landed him on third, but he thought the ball was foul. Fortunately it didn’t matter, as Ronald Acuna singled him home. Matt Olson walked and the Braves got unlucky on two balls with over a .500 xBA to not score any more runs, as they both ended in outs. Austin Riley in particular hit one that was nearly a homer and required a great catch to not be a double.
Nick Anderson took the ball for Atlanta in the sixth and had a really unlucky outing. Mountcastle blooped in a soft single, followed by a Santander double. Gunnar Henderson then grounded to Grissom, but Grissom booted it, allowing all batters to reach safely, scoring a run. Adam Frazier grounded out to Albies, too softly to turn two, with the runner out at second. Sean Murphy’s lightning bolt of an arm threw Frazier out trying to steal second, ending the inning with a one run Baltimore lead. The Braves went down 1-2-3 in the bottom sixth and Dylan Lee came in to hold the deficit. He got a bit unlucky to land in a two out bases loaded jam, but got a bit lucky with a barreled out from Mountcastle to get out of it. In the bottom of the inning, a Grissom bloop and an Acuna walk presented a threat with one out, but an Olson ground ball ended it with a double play.
AJ Minter came in for the eighth and dominated with two strikeouts and an easy pop-up. Austin Riley started the bottom of the eighth promisingly, with a leadoff double. Sean Murphy flew out and Austin stayed put on second. Snitker made the move to pinch-hit Pillar for Eddie Rosario as the Orioles brought in the lefty reliever Coulombe and Pillar rewarded Snit’s faith with a massive home run he snuck past the left-field foul pole.
Ozzie reached third on a single, a stolen base, and a throwing error from Rutschmann, but Ozuna and Harris popped out and flew out to end the inning, handing Raisel Iglesias a one run lead in his first appearance of the season.
Iglesias did not look like he had missed a beat, as he worked a 1-2-3 inning and made McKenna lose his bat on a nasty pitch. Braves win a wild one 5-4.
Join us for the rubbermatch tomorrow at 11:35 AM.