Sean Newcomb was once again hit hard on Wednesday night, with the Rays tagging the lefty for six runs in four innings. Newcomb began the game by retiring the first two batters, but would subsequently allow a walk, double, two-run single, and RBI single to give the Rays a 3-0 advantage early. Newcomb would continue to allow hard contact, with the final decisive blow coming in the fourth on a Tommy Pham two-run homer to right field. Newcomb did strike out seven batters, but his command was clearly lacking throughout, as the eight hits and two walks allowed would indicate.
The Atlanta offense did its part in the first, as back-to-back two-out singles by Freddie Freeman and Nick Markakis set up Johan Camargo for a game-tying, three-run homer. The scoring ceased from then until the eighth, as two runs came across to cut the Tampa Bay lead to 8-5. Atlanta would fail to score in the ninth, settling for a split with the Rays in the two-game set.
The Braves announced on Wednesday that they would be shutting down right-hander Mike Soroka for the remainder of the season, which comes as no surprise given that Soroka has not pitched since June.
Atlanta bolstered its bench on Wednesday with the addition of first baseman Lucas Duda from the Kansas City Royals. Duda was a member of the New York Mets for the early part of his career, helping them reach the World Series in 2015, and has a track record of success against the Phillies, which would obviously be of great value to the Braves in the final week of the regular season.
The Braves recalled left-hander Kolby Allard on Wednesday, optioning Chad Sobotka to Gwinnett. Allard had a previous stint with the big club but was handsomely over-matched, with some truly atrocious numbers attached to his name.
This will be Kolby Allard’s fourth stint as an Atlanta Brave this season. He has made three appearances (one start) for the big league club and has not fared well, with a negative K%-BB% mark and very gruesome 308 ERA-, 228 FIP-, and 181 xFIP- figures in eight innings of work. Allard last appeared in a game a week ago, where he threw three innings in a start for Gwinnett, allowing three hits, a walk, and zero runs.