After an hour and 40 minute rain delay, the Atlanta Braves and Boston Red Sox started what would become a wacky game. The weirdness would start in the top of the first when a Braves rally would be killed by a series of unfortunate events.
The Braves had Red Sox opener John Schreiber on the ropes early, with four straight batters reaching base following a Ronald Acuna flyout, four straight batters reached base, with a Sean Murphy single opening the scoring. However, the Red Sox would induce a bizarre double play, where Christian Arroyo “caught” a line drive and doubled off Austin Riley at third. However, the replays showed that the ball short hopped into Arroyo’s glove, but the play is not reviewable. This would prove to be a big momentum swing in the game. After this the Red Sox would score seven unanswered runs to take over the game.
The Red Sox were awarded two outs on this play? pic.twitter.com/ITQk4OkQHR— Bally Sports South (@BallySportsSO) July 26, 2023
This malaise extended to the bottom of the first where Charlie Morton labored through a 33 pitch first inning where he gave up two runs. The first one came on a Tristan Casas bases loaded walk, which was followed by a Christian Arroyo RBI single.
Even if the game was not a success, the Braves still made history in the third inning. After a single and a walk, Tristan Casas hit a lazy flyout to center, where Adam Duvall was doubled off and then Masataka Yoshida inexplicably took off for third base, where he was thrown out easily by Matt Olson. It was a chaotic play made possible by some truly baffling base running.
In the bottom of the fourth, Morton would find himself in even more trouble and this time he would not be able to wriggle out of it. After getting two quick outs, a series that included multiple walks, stolen bases and bloop hits would lead to the Braves falling behind 4-1. Morton would not get out of the inning, with the veteran right hander walking five in 3.2 innings while allowing four runs.
Meanwhile the Braves bats were being held at bay by Nick Pivetta who came into the game in the second inning to replace the opener. He went five shutout innings while striking out five. The most trouble he got into was in the second where he faced a first and third situation, but he got Ozzie Albies to pop up to end the threat. Outside of that, he mostly pitched in low stress situations.
The Red Sox would tack on an insurance run off of Michael Tonkin in the fifth, when Yu Chang got an RBI base hit. That was the only run Tonkin allowed who was able to eat 2.1 innings despite not having his best stuff or control. It was a valiant effort for a guy who has been an unsung hero in the bullpen.
The closest the Braves got to making the game interesting was in the top of the seventh when they had runners on first and third with two outs. Former Brave Chris Martin relieved Richard Bleier to face off against Ozzie Albies. After Acuna stole second, Albies had the chance to make it a two run game with a base hit, but he struck out, which effectively ended the slim chances the Braves had.
A two-run home run by Masataka Yoshida that snuck around Pesky’s Pole did not help matters, making it a 7-1 game. However, the Braves looked like they could possibly make things interesting when Orlando Arcia and Michael Harris got base hits. The threat would evaporate as Acuna would strike out and Albies would fly out to end the game.
In a weird game that had a lengthy delay, a questionable double play and a triple play, the Braves would fall 7-1 to continue a post All-Star break run where things haven't been quite as easy for them.
They will look to salvage a game from the two game set in Fenway tomorrow when Spencer Strider faces off against another Uber-talented 24 year old in Brayan Bello, who has emerged as one of the Red Sox best starting pitchers this season. It will be a nationally televised game, airing on ESPN at 7:10 p.m. ET.