Monday, August 23, 2021
On Sunday the Braves achieved something many probably never could’ve imagined just a few weeks ago: Atlanta swept its road trip by beating Baltimore 3-1, making it nine-straight victories for the Bravos. As the team returns home for a two-game series with the Yankees beginning on Monday, the Braves current playoff odds sit at a strong 80.8%, according to FanGraphs (with a 79% chance to win the division). To put those percentages in perspective, this time last month Atlanta’s odds were 7% and 6.1%, respectively. Yeah… that’s quite the turnaround.
For the fourth consecutive outing, starter Touki Toussaint allowed two earned runs or less as he worked around five hits and a run last night. Touki struck out five Orioles batters, giving him 17 punch outs over his last 16.2 frames with the Braves. He could very well play an integral part come playoff time, both as a starter or an option out of the Atlanta bullpen.
Both teams remained scoreless through the first three innings on Sunday, however, as the Braves have done so many times during this winning streak, the offense came though with a big inning in the fourth. Following a groundout by Ozzie Albies, last night’s DH Jorge Soler demolished a 2-1 pitch over the left field wall to put the Braves up 1-0.
Freddie Freeman followed with a double, and two batters later Austin Riley drew a walk, which setup an RBI opportunity for outfielder Adam Duvall. With two outs and a 1-2 count, Duvall crushed a 92-MPH fastball up in the zone and deposited it to deep left-center for a two-hopper against the wall. Both Freeman and Dansby Swanson scored, giving Atlanta a 3-0 advantage.
The Orioles answered back with a run of their own in the bottom-half of the inning as Ramon Urias slapped a two-out RBI double. But Touki regrouped and got himself out of the inning. The righty managed a relatively clean fifth, working around a lead-off single, and then in the sixth he started off the frame with another strikeout before being chased by a one-out single from Baltimore’s Anthony Santander.
That three-run fourth inning by the Braves was all the team needed to take care of business on Sunday. Once Touki hit the showers, a five-man group of Braves relievers finished the final 3.2 innings as AJ Minter, Chris Martin, Tyler Matzek, Luke Jackson and Will Smith combined to strike out seven Orioles batters while allowing just three hits altogether.
Along with the Braves, both the Phillies and Mets also won, spoiling Atlanta’s chance to tack on another game to its division lead. Still, the Braves pace the NL East by a solid five games with just 38 games to go.
I’m flying back out this morning for work, so the minor league report will only feature scores and stats. Remember, all four of the Braves full-season affiliates will take a scheduled day off today, while the FCL Braves has already started its double header versus the Red Sox. At the time of this writing, the rookie-level Braves trail 1-0 in the third inning of Game 1.
The big league Braves will begin its series against the Yankees at home tonight. First pitch is scheduled for 7:20 PM as righty Huascar Ynoa will face New York’s Jordan Montgomery. Let’s keep the wins going!
(68-56) ATLANTA BRAVES
W, 3-1 vs. Orioles
SP, T. Toussaint – (W), 5.1 IP, 5 H, ER, 3 BB, 5 K
DH, J. Soler – 2 for 4, HR, RBI
LF, A. Duvall – 2 for 4, 2B, 2 RBI
1B, F. Freeman – 1 for 4, 2B, R
(55-41) GWINNETT STRIPERS
L, 5-3 vs. Louisville
SP, T. Roark – 2 IP, 2 H, 2 BB, K
RP, D. Lee – IP, 3 K
C, R. Casteel – 1 for 3, HR, 2 RBI
3B, J. Camargo – 1 for 4, RBI
(58-38) MISSISSIPPI BRAVES
W, 2-1 vs. Montgomery
W, 5-3 vs. Montgomery
SP, F. Tarnok – (L), 5 IP, 5 H, 2 R, BB, 3 K
SP, A. Rangel – 2 IP, 2 K
RP, O. Javier – (H), 1.2 IP, 2 H, BB, 4 K
CF, J. Dean – 2 for 6, SB
RF/1B, G. Jenista – 2 for 5, 2 RBI, SB
DH/C, H. Clementina – 2 for 5, HR, 2 RBI
3B, C. Alexander – 1 for 6, 2B, R
2B, J. Miller – 1 for 5, 2B, R
(43-53) ROME BRAVES
L, 6-0 (F/7) vs. Greenville
SP, M. Stallings – (L), 3 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 3 K
RP, B. Dum – 2 IP, H, 3 K
C, C. Martinez – 2 for 3
DH, M. Harris – 1 for 2, BB
(40-56) AUGUSTA GREENJACKETS
L, 15-7 vs. Carolina
SP, D. Dodd – 3 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, BB, K
DH, V. Grissom – 3 for 4, 3B, R, SB
CF, C. Robinson – 1 for 5, 3B, 4 RBI
RF, W. Carter – 2 for 3, RBI, 2 R, SB
SS, C. Conley – 1 for 4, HR, RBI