The Braves waited until the bottom of the ninth to record their first hit of the afternoon as Drew Smyly and co. were trounced by the Pirates by the score of 10-1. For once, we were thankful this one wasn’t televised.
It was not an easy start for Drew Smyly in the first inning as he found himself with runners on the corners with two outs after a couple hits. Fortunately, he was able to escape before any damage was done thanks to a trio of strikeouts in the first inning. The second inning would start with a walk and a hit which resulted in two runners in scoring position with no one out. Smyly wasn’t able to get out of the jam this time as a pair of back to back singles put the Braves in an early 3-0 hole with a special assist from Marcell Ozuna’s defense in the outfield and a passed ball on TdA. The inning was rolled over from there, but the results were similar as the first two batters reached and after four runs on eight hits, the Braves brought Phil Pfeifer in.
Pfeifer struggled to stop the bleeding and after recording two outs, a walk and a single made it a 5-0 Pittsburgh lead. The bases were still loaded after that, but Pfeifer got a much needed strikeout to end the inning. Bryse Wilson’s relief appearance did not go as well in the fourth as a two run double made it a 7-0 Pirates lead and this was looking like a spring game to forget. A.J. Minter gave up a couple of runs including a solo homer in his inning of work.
Grant Dayton would then get the nod as this game was extended to the full nine innings and he would proceed to give up a solo homer of his own to make it 10-0 Pittsburgh. Please make it stop.
The Braves offense didn’t get off to a great start with three straight strikeouts to start the game. They did manage to draw three walks in the second inning, but a double play erased most of the threat and a forceout ended it. That is pretty much how the game would go for the Braves offense as they were held in check throughout the game. Ronald Acuna Jr. finished his day 0-3 with a pair of strikeouts and other than walks from Austin Riley, Travis d’Arnaud, and Marcell Ozuna, the Braves’ offense didn’t do much of anything through the game’s first seven innings.
The Braves finally got something going in the bottom of the ninth. Michael Harris drew a walk, Ryan Goings was hit by a pitch, and the Braves got their first hit of the day on a flare from Philip Ervin. Unfortunately, a pop out double play (spring training!) undid a lot of that good work, but a balk gave the Braves a run on what was otherwise a pretty dreadful day of Braves baseball.