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Braves split two-game series with Rays, winning 2-1

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Williams Perez struck out seven in his first major-league start.

Daniel Shirey/Getty Images

Williams Perez handled his first major-league start rather well. He allowed just one run in five innings as the Braves salvaged a split of the brief two-game set with the Rays by winning 2-1.

Perez allowed a first-inning run on a sac fly by James Loney, but stifled the Rays in his five innings, continuing the trend of low run support for Rays starter Jake Odorizzi. Atlanta would tie the score in the third inning when Alberto Callaspo singled home Andrelton Simmons, whose leadoff double was Atlanta's first hit of the game.

It’s always good to see that excitement out of teammates. - Andrelton Simmons on Williams Perez spiking the ball after the double play

The Rays threatened to retake the lead in the fourth by loading the bases with a walk and two singles. Fortunately for Perez, he induced the conventional 3-6-1 double play out of Asdrubal Cabrera to preserve the tie, spiking the ball as he walked off the field.

Atlanta managed only four hits against Odorizzi in six innings, but made them count. When the Braves came to bat in the sixth, Freddie Freeman doubled with one out; Nick Markakis then singled, putting Freeman 90 feet away from an Atlanta lead. Todd Cunningham hit a high chopper to short, which was enough to score Freeman from third to put the Braves in front.

Perez struck out seven in five innings; Brandon Cunniff earned the win with 1.1 scoreless innings. Jason Grilli sealed the win with his 12th save.

Win Expectancy

Source: FanGraphs