Bryse Wilson took the mound Saturday looking to strengthen his case for the fifth rotation spot as the club waits for Mike Soroka to return from injury. The start to his day was a bit startling as a low driven ground ball from the first batter hit him in the back of the leg as he finished his pitching motion. After this first batter reached, Wilson walked Alex Verdugo and struck out JD Martinez before allowing an RBI single from Rafael Devers. Wilson induced an inning ending double-play before heading into the clubhouse to have his leg looked at. Evidently the leg was not too substantial of an issue, because Wilson came back out for the second inning. Bryse continued to give up contact, getting a groundout and allowing two singles before inducing another inning-ending double-play.
Johan Camargo made a nice rangy play to catch a fly ball in foul territory to start the third inning. Alex Verdugo hit a line drive single to continue the traffic on the bases for Wilson. Wilson ended it there, however, with a line out and a fly out to finish off the frame. After a strikeout to start the fourth, Wilson was hit by another ball, off the hop this time, but made a really nice play to recover, find the ball, and fire it to first for the out. An easy ground ball to Freddie Freeman made it a 1-2-3 inning for Bryse. He had a minor scare on the first pitch of the fifth inning, with a deep drive that just barely stayed in the park for a fly out to Ozuna, and seemed to lose control after getting another out, walking two and hitting to load the bases with two outs. AJ Minter came in to put out the fire and struck out devers to escape the inning unscathed.
Overall, Wilson dealt with a lot of traffic, giving up 5 hits and 3 walks over his 4.2 innings with only 3 strikeouts, but Wilson did well to elude giving up more runs than the one he gave up.
Sean Newcomb came in for the sixth inning and had no trouble, getting a 1-2-3 inning with a lineout, fly out, and ground out. Veteran long relief pitcher Josh Tomlin came in to pitch the seventh and allowed a run on two doubles while recording one strikeout in the inning. The friendly neighborhood Sliderman, Luke Jackson came in for an east 1-2-3 eighth inning with a strikeout.
Continuing in the science fiction theme, Tyler “Death Star” Matzek came in for the ninth inning. After striking out Michael Chavis to start the inning, Matzek allowed a deep fly ball that was caught on an athletic leaping play at the wall by Michael Harris. Matzek then struck out Triston Casas with three pitches to end the game.
The offense didn’t muster much in the first inning aside from a walk from Marcell Ozuna, as Freddie Freeman lined out along the way and Austin Riley struck out to end the inning. The second inning was more threatening from the Braves, thanks to a line drive single from Johan Camargo and a bunt (!!!) single from spring star Ehire Adrianza. Inciarte hit a soft line drive right at Rafael Devers, who threw the ball to second base for the double play. After the double play, Adrianza was able to advance to second base on a wild pitch, before Alex Jackson walked to continue the threat. Unfortunately, pitchers are still hitting this season for political reasons, so Bryse Wilson struck out to end the inning.
Ozuna built on his first inning walk with a two out double in the third on a pitch that was only about six inches off the ground, before Austin Riley hit a deep fly out to end the inning. Following a walk from Camargo, another single from Adrianza, and a ground ball out from Inciarte, Alex Jackson hit a mammoth three run homer to left field to give the Braves a 3-1 lead in the fourth inning.
Freeman led off with a groundout in the fifth, before Ozuna and Riley walked consecutively. A deep fly out from Camargo allowed the runners to advance to second and third, allowing the human inferno that is Ehire Adrianza at the moment to drive them in with his third single of the day.
The sixth inning went quietly offensively, with a Ryan Goins walk representing the only Atlanta baserunner. Two pop outs from Bryce Ball and Phillip Ervin preceded a Sean Kazmar walk, which was to no avail, as Braden Shewmake hit a routine fly ball to left field for the third out. Prospect Michael Harris, who has been the talk of camp drew a walk in his only plate appearance of the day in the eighth inning. He scored from a fielding error on a William Contreras ground ball after Johnathan Morales was hit by a pitch to move Harris to second. Ryan Goins scored Morales with a single. Abraham Almonte, Bryce Ball, and Phillip Ervin went down consecutively to end the eighth and final offensive inning for Atlanta.
Freddie Freeman had a rough 0-3 day, while Marcell Ozuna was strong with two walks and a double in his three plate appearances. The Braves will be back in action on Sunday at 1:05 pm ET against the Rays. Join us then.