The saying goes that living well is the best revenge. For all the history the Braves have with Jose Ureña, they opted to avoid any unnecessary shenanigans and instead levied a good old fashioned beatdown on Friday night. The Braves handily took down the Marlins, 7-1.
Mike Soroka threw one of the best games of his career - an eight inning masterpiece that saw him throwing pitches into the ninth - and Ronald Acuña, Jr. went 3-for-5 with a revenge home run against Ureña. Suffice it to say, it was a good night to be a 21-year-old Atlanta Brave.
Ureña didn’t make it out of the fourth inning, and allowed a run in each inning he worked. The eye test showed that his final line was just as ugly as it looked - 3+ IP, 11 H, 6 ER, 1 BB, 2 HR. The Braves are now responsible two of his worst starts of the year.
On the opposite side of things, Soroka was about as good as he could possibly be. This was the second time in his last four starts he has pitched eight innings. This time around, he struck out six and only walked two, and the run that came around to score didn’t even trot home on his watch. He neutralized a Marlins offense that had been surging in recent weeks, and this was in no small part attributable to throwing 21 first pitch strikes to the 28 batters he faced. Now that he has enough innings to qualify for the ERA title, his 1.38 ERA is just a hair behind Hyun-Jin Ryu.
The Braves were off and running early, as a one-out Dansby Swanson single gave way to a Freddie Freeman rocket into the right field upper deck to make it 2-0. It was Freddie’s 17th home run, and among the more majestic of his homers this season.
It’s probably fair to say everyone had their eye on the Acuña vs. Ureña matchup after last year’s fireworks. After Ureña won the battle in the first by inducing a groundout, Acuña got mild revenge in the second inning by mashing an RBI single off the wall to bring home Ozzie Albies and make the score 3-0. This was quite the landmark RBI for Acuña - it was the 100th of his young career. I’m sure there’s nobody he was happier to drive in than Ozzie.
While Acuña’s 100th RBI was off the base of the wall, his 101st RBI went over it.
Just like that, it was 5-0.
Now that the circle of retaliation is officially closed, it’s nice to see Acuña getting back to punishing the Marlins. He didn’t just stop after the homer and audacious bat flip - he also smacked an RBI single to right field in the fifth to bring the lead to a touchdown.
After Soroka walked Curtis Granderson to lead off the ninth, Brian Snitker pulled him in favor of Dan Winkler. Winkler gave up two hits, one of which allowed Granderson to come around and score, but by that point the game was so far out of reach that the Marlins didn’t stand a chance of mounting a rally.
These two teams will face off again tomorrow afternoon at 4:10pm ET.