The Braves kicked off the Saturday doubleheader with Allan Winans on the mound against the Mets in New York.
Ronald Acuna kicked the game off as he often does, hitting a single (legging out a dribbler) and stealing second base. He advanced to third on an Albies groundout and scored on a lucky Austin Riley pop up that just dropped inside of the right field foul line. Matt Olson walked to create a significant threat for more runs, but Marcell Ozuna hit a soft line drive into a double play with a bit of bad fortune. Alan Winans loaded the bases in the bottom of the inning with a walk, intentional walk, and hit by pitch, but escaped it without allowing any runs. The Braves struck similarly in the second, as doubles from Eddie Rosario and Nicky Lopez scored another run before Ronald Acuna walked and Ozzie flew out to end the inning. Things were quiet for the next inning and a half until the Braves’ offense got back at it in the fourth, as Sean Murphy was hit by a pitch to start the inning, followed by a Michael Harris walk. Nicky Lopez brought Sean home with a single and after Ronald advanced the batters with a deep sac fly, Ozzie saw another pop up drop in for a single, scoring two more runs.
After another few quiet innings, the Braves offense showed up for more in the top sixth, after a brief rain shower in the middle of a 1-2-3 fifth from Winans. Ronald and Austin each walked ahead of Matt Olson, who did his thing and launched a homer to dead center to take sole possession of the major league lead in homers.
41!— MLB (@MLB) August 12, 2023
Matt Olson has more home runs than anyone else in baseball. pic.twitter.com/OIn7402ifp
Winans struck out two more on his way to another scoreless inning in the sixth. Hard hit singles from Harris and Acuna followed by a bomb from Ozzie tacked on another three runs in the seventh for Atlanta, as they were absolutely cruising at this point.
Winans came back out for the seventh on 96 pitches, as the Braves tried to conserve the bullpen and gave up a leadoff double. Atlanta also brought in Kevin Pillar for Ronald Acuna, giving their star outfielder a few innings of rest. Winans got three outs on contact to strand the runner, as he completed the inning having kept the Mets scoreless over 7.0 innings with 9 Ks and only 2 walks in what was a truly stellar outing for the 28 year old rookie at a time when the Braves really needed it. Big kudos to Allan for his performance today, earning his first career major league win and eating some major innings.
The skies opened back up again in the eighth, but that didn’t stop Matt Olson from hitting ANOTHER home run, his 42nd of the year, although this one was slightly less majestic. After Marcell and Eddie recorded outs, Sean Murphy absolutely demolished a home run to dead center through the rain to make the score 13-0.
It was at this point that Forrest Wall was brought in to replace Michael Harris for the final two innings and popped out to end the inning. Michael Tonkin came on in relief, presumably hoping to be able to cover the rest of the game and was not sharp. He recorded an out but allowed a single, a walk, and a homer to Daniel Vogelbach in the eighth, giving the Mets three runs. He did get out of the inning with no further damage from there, however. The Mets were doing the position-player pitching thing at this point, with Danny Mendick pumping 60 MPH fastballs down the middle and that did not go well, as Nicky Lopez, Kevin Pillar, Ozzie Albies, and Austin RIley went single, double, single, homer to start off the ninth. Matt Olson settled for a double before Marcell Ozuna finally popped out for the first out of the inning. Sean Murphy brought Matt home with two outs and Forrest Wall got his first career major league hit with a grounder that skipped up off of first base. Nicky Lopez absolutely jumped all over first pitch he saw for a deep homer to right, making the score 21-3. Pillar mercifully popped out to end the inning. Lopez was the choice to pitch in the ninth and pitched a scoreless inning allowing only one hit. That was a doozy.
Join us for the night game in a few hours at 7:15.