Mike Foltynewicz set the tone early with a 1-2-3 first inning with two strikeouts. He looked pretty good for the most part, overpowering several hitters with seven strikeouts over 5 1/3 innings. Pitch count forced him out of the game in the 6th, and Cody Martin and Luis Avilan combined to allow two of his baserunners to score, making his final line look less impressive than it otherwise could have been. He ended the evening having surrendered 3 walks, 7 hits, and 4 runs. He’s going to be a fun pitcher to watch.
The Reason got the Braves on the board with a solo home run in the bottom of the 1st, and doubled to lead off 4th. He came around to score the Braves second run on Freddie Freeman’s first double of the night.
In the 5th, the Braves bats went a little crazy, as Jace Peterson and Cameron Maybin started the inning with back-to-back hits, and Maybin moved into scoring position with a stolen base. Foltynewicz helped his own cause by making contact and picking up his third career RBI with a sac fly. Considering he never had a single at-bat in his professional career before last Friday, he is certainly making hitting at a major league level look pretty easy. Nick Markakis and Simmons followed with another set of back-to-back singles—Nick’s was of the RBI variety—and Freddie hit his second double of the night to make it 6-1. His first was a bloop down the left field line, while his second was scorched down the right field line. Shows you how impartial he is when it comes to dominating on a baseball field.
Ryan Howard continued his Braves bashing ways with a solo homer off Foltynewicz in the 6th, and Jeff Francoeur added the newest volume in The Revenge of the Alumnus saga with an RBI single later on in that inning. We may very well singlehandedly resurrect Melvin Upton’s career June 8-10, and with the number of former Braves on the Padres roster, I fully expect that series to feature the first game in history in which a team loses 26 to -3.
Markakis brought Peterson home on a double in the 6th inning to complete the Braves scoring. Jason Grilli made things interesting in the top of the 9th, allowing the tying run to come to the plate with two outs. He allowed one of those runs to score before striking out Odubel Herrera to end the game.
The top of the lineup had an incredible night, combining to go 8-for-12 with 4 doubles, a home run, 4 runs scored, and 6 RBIs. Simmons was a triple shy of the cycle, and somehow managed not to hit into any double plays. Peterson picked up two hits and scored two runs and did a good job getting on base for the top of the lineup. Those players were so effective that Christian Bethancourt’s ongoing offensive struggles could easily be pushed into background. His 0-for-4 night included two strikeouts and a GIDP. It’s always taken him awhile to hit at each level he’s played in, but you do feel for him as he sits under the Upton line.