Huascar Ynoa and Sandy Alcantara locked up in a pitcher’s duel for the first five innings. Ynoa allowed a one-out single in the second to Brian Anderson but struck out Alex Jackson to leave him stranded. Isan Diaz worked a lead off walk in the fourth but was caught stealing.
Huascar Ynoa, Dirty 85mph Slider. pic.twitter.com/8Fx4E0pCdp— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) August 18, 2021
Alcantara was every bit as impressive. Freddie Freeman reached on a two-out single in the first but Austin Riley grounded out to end the frame. Alcantara would then retire nine straight hitters before Riley reached on an infield single that bounced high off of home plate.
Atlanta missed out on an opportunity in the sixth as Ynoa reached on an infield single and later moved up to second on a ground out by Jorge Soler. Freeman followed with a solid single to left to put runners at the corners but Riley grounded out to short to leave him stranded.
The Marlins threatened in the sixth as well as Bryan De La Cruz led off the inning with a single to center. Alcantara dropped down a bunt that Freeman pounced on and fired to second for the out. Miguel Rojas then muscled a single past Riley at third and that would be the last hitter that Ynoa would face as Brian Snitker would emerge from the dugout and summon Tyler Matzek from the bullpen.
Matzek was greeted by a rocket single by Isan Diaz that loaded the bases. The Braves caught a break as Lewis Brinson popped out in foul territory to Dansby Swanson who made a sliding catch for the second out. Matzek then struck out Jesus Sanchez to escape with the game still scoreless.
Tyler Matzek, 86mph Wipeout Slider. pic.twitter.com/K6mAohoH50— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) August 18, 2021
Ynoa was dominant in his first game back allowing three hits and a walk over 5 1⁄3 scoreless innings. He struck out four while throwing 80 pitches.
Chris Martin worked a perfect seventh and the Braves finally broke through against Alcantara in the eighth. Stephen Vogt began the inning with a strikeout but pinch-hitter Abraham Almonte worked a walk. Ozzie Albies then struck out for the second out but Almonte swiped second. He later moved to third on a wild pitch and came in to score as Soler poked a single to right to put Atlanta up 1-0.
Luke Jackson issued a one-out walk to pinch-hitter Jazz Chisholm in the eighth, but got Rojas to ground into a 4-6-3 double play to end the inning.
The Braves got a much-needed insurance run in the ninth when Riley connected for his 26th home run of the season off of Anthony Bender to extend the lead to 2-0.
Will Smith needed a good outing and he delivered in the ninth retiring the side in order to seal the win.
With the win, Atlanta improves to 64-56 on the season and clinched their fifth straight series win. They will maintain at least a 1.5 game lead in the NL East pending the outcome of the Phillies’ game in Arizona. They will go for a sweep Wednesday when Charlie Morton matches up against Jesus Luzardo.