Atlanta Braves: Albies and Murphy help Braves coast to easy win over Rockies

Jun 14, 2023; Detroit, Michigan, USA;  Atlanta Braves second baseman Ozzie Albies (1) celebrates
Jun 14, 2023; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Atlanta Braves second baseman Ozzie Albies (1) celebrates / Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Braves got a much deserved and frankly welcome easy win over the Rockies on Thursday thanks, in part, to strong days from Ozzie Albies and Sean Murphy. It sure didn't hurt to have AJ Smith-Shawver and Michael Tonkin carry the entire pitching load for the day.

The Rockies would strike first against Smith-Shawver. After a scoreless first inning from both teams, AJSS hung a slider to Elias Diaz and he turned on it and kept it just fair for a solo home run to left. Beyond that one pitch, though, AJ was making quick work of the Rockies early on.

The Braves offense woke up and remembered that they were up against a lefty in the bottom of the second inning. Sean Murphy and Matt Olson (who was batting fifth in this game and yielded the second spot to Ozzie Albies against a lefty) led the inning off with back-to-back singles. A couple of batters later with runners on second and third, Kevin Pillar laced a two-run double down the left field line to give the Braves the lead.

After walks to Orlando Arcia and Ronald Acuna Jr. to load the bases, Ozzie Albies came to the plate from the right side and hit a rocket down the line that just stayed fair and cleared the bases and just like that, it was 5-1 Braves.

Smith-Shawver would give up another solo shot to Ezequiel Tovas as he worked his way the second time through the Rockies order to make it a 5-2 game and had to pitch himself out of some runners on the corners drama, but the Braves offense did not slow down. A walk to Orlando Arcia and a single from Michael Harris II gave the Braves runners on the corners and Ronnie would cash the opportunity in with a sac fly to make it 6-2 Braves. Ozzie Albies added his third hit of the game to put runners on the corners with two out, but Austin Riley popped out to end the inning.

After AJSS had to battle through some command issues in the fifth and got through it giving up just one more run, the Braves immediately got that run back after a Sean Murphy double and then a Marcell Ozuna sac fly a couple of batters later to make it a 7-3 game in the fifth.

Michael Tonkin would come in to relieve Smith-Shawver in the sixth inning and handled the rest of that inning as well as the seventh and eighth innings. To add a bit more breathing room, Matt Olson hit the Braves' first home run of the evening, and his 19th of the season, to make it an 8-3 Braves lead. He was not a cheap one either....456 feet and 109.5 mph is the definition of crushed.

After a bunch of close games and comebacks over the last week and a half or so, it was nice to have an easy-going game. Somewhat surprisingly, the Braves sent Tonkin back out there for the ninth inning while sitting on 36 pitches. However, he gave up just a single along with a pair of strikeouts and it was smooth sailing.