The Braves, winners of five out of their last six, came into tonight’s game against the Toronto Blue Jays wanting to finally find the formula that would lead to an extended period of successful play.
The good news was that they discovered the formula for the majority of the game.
The bad news is that they once again struggled in the eighth inning.
Bryse Wilson and the Braves got off to a great start in the first inning. Wilson threw arguably his best inning in the bigs to start off the game, while the Braves were able to get on the board thanks to an Ozzie Albies single. At the end of one inning, the Braves were up 1-0.
Ronald Acuña Jr. did it again.— Bally Sports: Braves (@BravesOnBally) May 12, 2021
That's his league-leading 11th homer. pic.twitter.com/NajsTrxH4G
With the lead, Wilson went to work. Wilson continued to pitch very effectively through the second and third innings, and continued to find success. The Braves decided it was time to support Wilson once again, as well as time for Ronald Acuna Jr. to retake the MLB home run lead. Acuna Jr. connected with his 11th home run of the year. After a few scares recently under less than ideal circumstances, it was nice to see Acuna Jr. once again emerge with a bang.
Marcell's signature celebration time pic.twitter.com/jibGtXlGlT— Bally Sports: Braves (@BravesOnBally) May 12, 2021
Wilson continued to pitch wonderfully through five innings. In the top of the sixth inning, the Blue Jays finally found some success with a two run home run from Vladimir Guerrero Jr. However, the Braves were once again ready to support Wilson as Marcell Ozuna connected for his fifth home run of the year, and the Braves took a 3-2 lead.
Wilson once again kept the Blue Jays quiet in the top of the sixth inning. That would end his day, and possibly the best start of his career. Over six innings, Wilson allowed six hits, two earned runs, and produced zero walks along with five strike outs. Wilson made only bad pitch all night, and the result was the opportunity for the Braves to be in a position to win the game. It was a great start for the both the Braves and Wilson to hopefully have another reliable young arm to support the staff going forward.
Tyler Matzek worked a successful seventh inning and the Braves were kept quiet in the bottom of the seventh inning. Unfortunately, the top of the eighth inning is where the downfall occurred. A double, several singles, and a bases loaded walk allowed the Blue Jays to score three runs and take a 5-3 lead. Neither A.J. Minter nor Jacob Webb had the stuff to hold the lead tonight, and the Blue Jays unfortunately were able to take advantage of their struggles.
The Braves were kept quiet in the bottom of eighth inning. The Blue Jays once again threatened to score in the top of the ninth inning, but Dansby Swanson was able to help the score remain the same. In the bottom of the ninth inning, the Braves tried to put together a come back effort. Unfortunately, Ehire Adrianza was not able to deliver with two runners on base, and the Braves lost 5-3.
A disappointing ending and another blown lead by the bullpen certainly is less than ideal. However, a good start from Wilson and home runs from Acuna Jr. and Ozuna are certainly great occurrences to build off of. With Max Fried on the mound tomorrow, the Braves hopefully will find the formula to even the series.