Atlanta offense powers Braves past Twins in split-squad action
By Chris Turner
Behind two early home runs from Matt Olson and Austin Riley, the Atlanta Braves pulled out a 7-5 win in Saturday's split-squad Spring Training game against the Minnesota Twins. This win, and Atlanta's win over Baltimore on the road on Saturday.
Atlanta's first baseman Matt Olson opened the scoring up with a towering two-run homer in the 1st inning. One batter later, Austin Riley followed it up with his own homer into deep center to make it 3-0. While Riley's spring training hasn't been particularly eye opening, Olson has been on a tear to start things off. Hopefully he can carry that through to the regular season.
That was more than enough run support for Max Fried in his start today. The left-hander threw three innings, allowing just one hit, walking two, and striking out five.
The Braves tacked on consistent offense throughout the day, with Riley, Sam Hilliard, Sean Murphy, and Ronald Acuña Jr. adding RBI singles in the victory.
After Fried's departure, several expected bullpen contributors combined to shutout the Twins for the next five innings. Raisel Iglesias, Joe Jimenez, Jesse Chavez, and Nick Anderson threw five innings, allowing just three hits while striking out six batters.
Minnesota closed the gap with a five-run outburst in the 8th inning, hitting an RBI single and drawing two walks off Atlanta pitcher Joe Harvey. Brian Snitker called on Allan Winans to escape the jam, but the Twins added two more RBI singles and an RBI double before the inning finally came to a close.
Domingo Robles shut the door in the 9th with a 1-2-3 inning to give Atlanta the victory.
-Matt Olson: 2-3, 1 HR, 2 RBI
-Austin Riley: 2-2, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 BB
-Ronald Acuña Jr.: 2-4, 1 RBI
-Sean Murphy: 1-3, 1 RBI
-Sam Hilliard: 2-3, 1 RBI
Braves are at home on Sunday as they host the Yankees. First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 p.m ET.