Josh Tomlin didn’t get to eat too many innings tonight. As it turned out, this ended up being a bit of a bullpen game as some of the familiar faces that we’ve seen come out of the ‘pen this season got their opportunity to get some work done as the season winds down. Tomlin ended up throwing the first three innings of the game, and he exited with a one-run lead — Meibrys Viloria hit an RBI grounder that said “Hello,” and “Goodbye” to Francisco Cervelli on its way into the outfield for the lone run given up by Tomlin on the night.
Sean Newcomb came on for the fourth inning and ended up running into some awful luck on his way to giving up a run. Kansas City’s two Ryans both got on base via soft contact. After a groundout moved those two runners over, the Royals scored after Nicky Lopez laid down a perfectly-placed bunt to bring in Ryan McBroom from third. The Royals were up 2-0 and it was looking like this was going to be another one of those inexplicably bad nights for the Braves against the 2019 Royals.
That second run coming in the manner that it did may have been the wake-up call that the Braves needed to finally get things in gear against the Royals. Atlanta responded with five runs over the next two innings. The fifth inning saw a double from Josh Donaldson and a single from Nick Markakis immediately after the rain was brought to Kansas City tie the game at two runs apiece.
In the very next inning, Dansby Swanson finally appeared to get back into the normal swing of things, as he bounced one right up the middle of the diamond and brought in two baserunners to put the Braves in front against the Royals for the first time since the first inning on July 24. Ozzie Albies got credit for a sacrifice fly after Billy Hamilton sped down the third base line on a shallow fly ball to extend Atlanta’s lead.
The eighth inning was when the floodgates broke open for the Braves. Atlanta loaded the bases up with one out, and Josh Donaldson returned to the plate looking to add some more precipitation to the Doppler Radar. Sure enough, Donaldson delivered his third double of the night and this one was a doozy — it cleared the basepaths and once the skies finally cleared, Donaldson was the only man on base and the Braves had extended their lead by three more runs. Adam Duvall tacked on a single later on in the inning to make it 9-2.
The ninth inning saw the Braves pick up another run and while it only served to make it an even 10 runs for the Braves on the night, it had to have served as a major confidence boost for Dansby Swanson. His double (which was turned into a run by Ozzie Albies in the very next at-bat) was also his fourth hit of the night, and this was the type of night that he needed after struggling mightily since returning from injury. It would be fantastic if this was a sign of things to come from Dansby for the rest of the Braves’ 2019 campaign.
A Dansby double makes it a 4-hit night for Swanson. First one of those in his career.— Grant McAuley (@grantmcauley) September 26, 2019
Approach looks great. I think he's back, folks. #Braves
The bullpen clamped down on the Royals once the fifth inning rolled around. Darren O’Day, Luke Jackson, Jerry Blevins, Shane Greene and Mark Melancon all conspired to keep the Royals off of the scoreboard. Luke Jackson even struck out all four batters he faced on the night. It may have been “just” the Royals, but this was a statement performance from the bullpen and you would love to see this continue to happen as the playoffs get underway.
The Braves will have the day off tomorrow before taking on the Mets to end the season. They’ll be heading to New York with a little more confidence and the solace of knowing that they got another win and nobody had any sort of injury woes tonight. Hopefully that will continue into the weekend.