The Braves, off of a less than inspiring 2-4 home stand against two of the worst teams in baseball, rolled into St. Louis, with Julio Teheran toeing the rubber. Things didn’t look promising, but this game showed why you can’t get overly excited about any 5 to 10 game stretch.
Julio started off the game like he was shaking off a hangover from getting pounded by the O’s, walking the first two batters he faced. But, a nice running grab by the freshly pedicured Ronald Acuna, Jr. and a couple of flyouts helped him escape any damage. Julio then pitched around a two out double in the second by striking out Miles Mikolas.
After that Julio settled down, throwing 4 more scoreless innings in a sweltering evening, allowing only one more baserunner, a single to Matt Carpenter leading off the sixth.
Meanwhile, Mikolas was matching Julio in a good old fashioned pitcher’s duel, tossing six scoreless frames of his own. In the top of the seventh however, the Braves, as Chip will tell you over and over and over, worked some more of their late inning magic. With one out, Johan Camargo reached on an infield single. Dansby Swanson singled him to second, and Danny Santana, pinch hitting for Teheran, singled to load the bases and chase Mikolas. With bases loaded the Cards brought in a lefty, Austin Gomber, to face Ender Inciarte. That didn’t work out well, as he bounced his first pitch, a looping curve, off the top of Ender’s batting helmet to plate the first run.
At this point, things were looking good, with Ozzie Albies and Freddie Freeman lurking, the bases still loaded, and only one out. But Ozzie swung at an ugly pitch to strike out, and Freeman grounded out to end the threat. And when Snit brought in Peter Moylan, you started to feel like Tyler Flower’s hamstring felt in the 6th. (Cramps. Replaced by Kurt Suzuki.) But Moylan got Yadier Molina, but walked Tommy Pham. Jesse Biddle came in to squelch any further threat however, retiring Kolten Wong and Harrison Bader.
Atlanta broke it open in the 8th. Nick Markakis walked, and Suzuki follwed it up by taking one for the team just like Ender in the 7th. After Acuna struck out, Camargo doubled them both home, and he was chased in by a Swanson single. 4-0 Braves.
The Bravos added a run in the 9th, when Markakis drove in Albies with a sac fly. However, Luke Jackson made it exciting by loading the bases in the bottom of the 9th after getting the first out. Snit, having used A.J. Minter to pitch a scoreless bottom of the 8th, brought in Dan Winkler with the bases loaded. Winkler got a grounder to nab the runner at second as the Braves traded a run for an out, then secured his first professional save by striking out Bader to end the game.
Camargo and Swanson were the sparkplugs in this game, each with three hits, and Julio settled in after a shaky first to give the Braves six solid innings in the heat and humidity. Max Fried gets the spot start tonight in place of Amanda’s Husband.