Looking to even the series at 1, the Braves sent Jared Shuster to the mound, hoping he could cover some innings and give the Braves offense a chance without Ronald Acuna.
The game started quite well for the Braves, as the first three at-bats of the game were a double from Michael Harris doing his best Acuna impression at leadoff, Ozzie Albies’ 30th homer of the season, and a solo bomb from Austin Riley to give the Braves a quick 3-0 lead.
Unfortunately, Jared Shuster reminded us why he has not stuck in the Braves’ rotation this season, as he gave up a leadoff home run to notorious contact hitter Luis Arraez and then allowed a single, a runner reached on an error, and allowed another homer to give Miami a 4-3 lead in the first. Both pitchers worked a 1-2-3 second, in stark contrast to their first innings.
Shuster got into trouble in the third, as he allowed a leadoff double and walk, but was somewhat bailed out by a bizarre line drive bunt to Matt Olson for a double play. He still allowed an RBI single to increase the Miami lead to 5-3. He did escape the inning with no further runs from there, despite a Jazz Chisholm bunt hit. After another scoreless inning from the Braves’ offense, Jackson Stephens came in, ending Shuster’s night after 3.0 innings, and kept a scoreless fourth. Michael Harris stepped up again in the fifth, with a crushed homer off the right field foul pole to bring a run back. Jackson Stephens came through again in the home fifth, striking out two and working around a walk to keep the deficit at one run.
Matt Olson came through big to lead off the sixth with a monster home run to seal his name in the Atlanta record-books with his 52nd home run of the season, breaking Andruw Jones’ record of 51. This also was huge in the game as it tied the game back up at 5-5.
Jackson Stephens allowed a single to Arraez in the home sixth and Josh Bell snuck a single just past Matt Olson, but a tremendous throw from Kevin Pillar gunned Arraez down trying to take third for the second out. Stephens got out of the sixth and held the game at a tie after allowing another single. Huge from Stephens to go three scoreless innings, throwing nearly 70 pitches. The seventh was quiet for both offenses, as AJ Minter struck out three around a Chisholm walk.
The Braves offense presented some danger in the eighth, with a single from Austin, a walk from Marcell, and Sean Murphy being hit by a pitch with two outs to load the bases for Arcia. Unfortunately, Orlando grounded out to end the threat, sending the game down to the home eighth with Kirby Yates taking the mound. Kirby got two outs before walking Josh Bell and allowing a homer to Jake Burger to give the Marlins a late 7-5 lead. He then gave up another walk and single before Michael Tonkin came in and walked his first batter before allowing a huge home run to Jazz, setting the score at 11-5.
Join us again tomorrow as the Braves attempt to salvage the series with a win.