Have a day, Mike Foltynewicz.
Foltynewicz, fresh off arguably the best start of his Major League career on Sunday, was highly impressive over the course of eight innings, and his performance proved to be all that the Atlanta Braves needed to pick up a win. His pitching heroics were combined with a veritable explosion from the offense, and in the end, the combination led to a 5-0 victory over the Kansas City Royals.
Throughout the evening, Foltynewicz was efficient and effective, navigating his eight frames while allowing only seven hits and striking out four members of the Royals. The 24-year-old cruised through his night using 103 pitches, and perhaps the biggest development for Foltynewicz came in the fact that he did not allow a single walk.
Perhaps the biggest threat from Kansas City came in the first inning when the Royals placed runners on 1st and 3rd with only one out, but Foltynewicz picked off Eric Hosmer at first base before striking Kendrys Morales to put out the fire. After that, the biggest play in preserving the spotless night for the starting pitcher came in the eighth frame, when Daniel Castro saved a run with a fantastic defensive play up the middle against Lorenzo Cain.
Offensively, it wasn't an utterly dominant performance from the Braves, but it was more than enough on a night when the run prevention was lights-out. Ender Inciarte began the scoring with an RBI double in the sixth inning, and he was quickly brought to the plate (along with Nick Markakis) on a two-run single from Kelly Johnson to provide a three-run cushion.
From there, A.J. Pierzynski provided two additional runs of insurance with a double in the eighth inning against old pal Chien-Ming Wang, and that was effectively the end of the night for the Royals. For good measure, Mallex Smith added Atlanta's first triple of the season in the ninth inning, and even if the offense failed to bring him across the plate, Saturday night qualified as a success in producing five runs.
The win improves Atlanta's record to 9-26 on the season and evens the series against the defending World Series champions. However, this victory was much more about the continued development of a certain fire-balling pitcher, and it was extremely encouraging to see Mike Foltynewicz pitch in this fashion for a second straight start.