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J.A. Happ stymies Braves in 5-4 loss to Blue Jays

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Not much offense to speak of in a less than inspiring performance.

Atlanta Braves v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

In the midst of an odd, five-game week, the Atlanta Braves had the opportunity to close out a mini-sweep of the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday afternoon. However, the chance to win four straight games and slam the door on Canada’s team did not come to fruition, as the Braves fell to the Jays by a final score of 5-4.

The Braves operated in a hole from the outset, as the team went down in 1-2-3 fashion in the top of the first inning before fireworks in the bottom half of the frame. Toronto’s Justin Smoak singled off Braves starter Anibal Sanchez and, moments later, Kendrys Morales launched a two-out, two-run home run to place the Jays in the lead.

Shortly thereafter, Kurt Suzuki dented the scoreboard for Atlanta, blasting a solo home run left field in the second inning. From there, Peter Bourjos, making the start in right field as Nick Markakis occupied the DH slot, added his own solo home run and the Braves knotted the game at 2-2 in the third inning.

That positive mojo did not continue, though, as Sanchez allowed two walks, a double and a sacrifice fly in the fourth inning to pave the way for two runs attributed to the Blue Jays. After Sanchez exited following the fifth inning, Shane Carle navigated a scoreless sixth but he ran into trouble, leaving a man on second base with two outs before being replaced by A.J. Minter.

Minter then gave up an RBI single to stretch Toronto’s lead to 5-2, before ending the inning shortly thereafter. The Braves then had six outs to make a comeback and they threatened to do so in the team’s final at-bat.

After a scoreless eighth from Luke Jackson, the Braves strung together three singles against starter J.A. Happ and closer Ryan Tepera, with the last of the trio coming off the bat of Suzuki to send Freeman to the plate. Charlie Culberson then struck out with runners on the corners but Ender Inciarte brought another run across with a single to make things (very) interesting. Finally, though, the game came to an end when Johan Camargo flew out harmlessly.

From an individual standpoint, there was little to be excited about, aside from the home runs from Sukuki and Bourjos. Only Suzuki reached base on multiple occasions and, aside from the occasional hiccup, it was largely the J.A. Happ show from beginning to end.

After another off day (the second of the week), the Braves will return to action on Friday evening with the first of three games at home against the Baltimore Orioles. Stay tuned.