Any time a top Braves prospect makes his Major League debut, it’s cause for excitement. Touki Toussaint’s inaugural start was reason down downright excessive joy.
Touki was lights out during his first major league start, holding the Marlins to one earned run and two hits over six innings; he walked two and struck out four. Just like Mike Soroka and Kolby Allard, his former Rome rotation mates who made their ML debuts this year, he locked down a win in his first career start. Against a division rival, no less.
If Touki had any first inning jitters, they didn’t show, as he worked a clean 12 pitch first. Ronald Acuña was in a generous mood, as he felt the need to give his pal Touki an early lead. He hit his second straight lead off home run to put the Braves in front 1-0. This was Acuña’s third straight game with a home run.
Toussaint got himself into a bit of trouble in the second inning, allowing a walk to Derek Dietrich, a single to JT Riddle, and an RBI double by Isaac Galloway to tie it at 1. He managed to string together three quick outs to sidestep any additional damage, including his first career strikeout against Yadiel Rivera.
Nick Markakis and Johan Camargo hit back-to-back doubles in the 4th to hang another in the run column for the Braves, making it 2-1.
Speaking of the 4th inning, this is when Touki really hit his stride. He leaned into trusting his breaking pitches, and the Marlins looked befuddled as a result. He allowed 8 and 7 pitches in two consecutive innings, then induced a double play to erase a walk to JT Realmuto and end the 6th.
There was a scary moment in the 5th, as an errant throw from Riddle pulled Dietrich off the first base bag and caused Acuña to land awkwardly and tumble. In there were any lingering effects, they did not show. He stole second immediately, moved to third on an Ozzie Albies groundout, and scored on a Freddie Freeman lineout. 3-1 Braves.
The scoring didn’t end there, as Camargo’s second double of the game led off the 6th inning and was followed by a HBP to Kurt Suzuki. Charlie Culberson then mashed a double to deep center to bring Camargo home. This was the end of the line for Touki, as Snitker decided a 4-1 lead was enough to allow Toussaint to keep his seat on the bench. After Adam Duvall drew a pinch-hit walk, Acuña brought Camargo and Suzuki home with a rocket double. Albies then got in on the fun, slapping a single to center that plated Duvall, and after an error by Magneuris Sierra, Acuña raced home to make it 8-1.
The Braves tacked one on more in the 8th to make it 9-1, which where the score would stand until the finale.
Jesse Biddle had his first outing since Saturday’s blown save against the Brewers, and worked around a few baserunners to log a scoreless frame. Chad Sobotka also worked scoreless innings in the 8th and 9th, and got his first career hit. He has now logged more career hits than he has allowed.
Alas, Freddie Freeman’s hit streak was snapped at 14, but with another game tonight, he has the opportunity to start another one.
With today’s victory, the Braves now sit ½ game up in first place in the National League East. Another win tonight would extend the lead to a full game.
First pitch for Game 2 of this day-night doubleheader is set for 7:35pm EST. Join us, won’t you?