Allard shines in 2023 debut as Braves blank Twins for series sweep

Minnesota Twins v Atlanta Braves
Minnesota Twins v Atlanta Braves / Todd Kirkland/GettyImages

Today's absolutely real, not made up one-sentence recap for the Atlanta Braves: Kolby Allard dominates and leads Atlanta to its fifth win in a row.

The 25-year-old lefty got the call to start to close out the Braves' three-game series with the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday and delivered one of the best outings of his career. Allard pitched 4.2 innings, allowed just three hits, and struck out eight batters in his start. He fell just short of tying his career-high in K's. Allard retired nine of the first ten batters he faced on Wednesday.

His performance was much needed as the Braves' offense had a quieter day than normal. Atlanta scored in the first after Matt Olson hit an RBI double to center to score Ronald Acuña Jr. from second. Acuña swiped second after drawing a leadoff walk, bringing his season total to 36 stolen bases. We still have nine games till the All-Star break, so 40 stolen bases before the first half ends is very obtainable.

The Braves scored again two innings later after Ozzie Albies hit a sacrifice fly to plate Michael Harris II, who reached base twice in Wednesday's win. Harris is now hitting .368 this month and has raised his season batting average by about .100 in just three weeks' time.

It wouldn't be an Atlanta Braves win without a home run, which came in under the wire in the bottom of the eighth inning. Olson hit his 26th of the year to give the Braves a little insurance, leading to Raisel Iglesias picking up his 13th save of 2023 in the ninth to close the 3-0 win for Atlanta.

Braves are now 53-27 on the season, while the Twins fall to 40-42 and into a tie with Cleveland for first place in the AL Central.

Atlanta has an off day on Thursday, before welcoming the second-place Miami Marlins to Truist Park for an NL East clash.