The Atlanta Braves headed into Milwaukee with a 2-4 record after the All-Star break and just escaped being swept by the Diamondbacks at home. However, Austin Riley has been red-hot these last few games and helped lift the Braves over Arizona.
Milwaukee is currently leading the NL Central and has a player on a hot streak of his own. Christian Yelich has been on a tear the past month for the Brewers and looks more like himself at the plate. Michael Soroka and the Braves were tasked with keeping him at bay and facing a Brewers pitching staff that is the fourth-best in the NL.
Milwaukee's bullpen is especially tough right now. Coming into tonight's game they have not allowed a run to score through 20.2 consecutive innings. That's absolutely incredible and they extended that streak as they did not allow a run from the Braves for the final 4 innings of the game between former Brave, Bryse Wilson and J.C. Mejia. That streak is now 24.2 innings.
However, the Atlanta Braves offense was able to get ahold of Brewers starter, Freddy Peralta, and score 6 runs against him through 5 innings. Marcell Ozuna drove in the first Braves run with a sacrifice fly that scored Matt Olson.
Orlando Arcia then launched a two-run homer against his former club to give Atlanta a 3-2 lead in the top of the 2nd. Austin Riley, who has been on fire lately, added to the lead with a two-run home run of his own in the third inning. The Braves' sixth and final run came in the fifth inning as Ozuna grounded into a force-out and beat out the throw to first base to prevent a double play.
Atlanta led the game 6-2 at this point and looked to keep the Brewers off the board for the rest of the night. Michael Soroka looked pretty good on Friday despite struggling early on and allowing a lead-off double to Christian Yelich who was then driven in by William Contreras with a double of his own.
The Brewers 2nd run came thanks to a single by Jesse Winker but that's all the Brewers would get until the 6th inning. Soroka has struggled a bit with getting his command back and that's led to him being home run prone unfortunately, that was the case again as he allowed a two-run blast to Willy Adames in the 6th. This made things closer at 6-4 and it was up to the Braves bullpen to preserve the win.
Soroka finished the day with 6 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 4 K on 87 pitches. His command got better as the game went on and his fastball sat around 94mph all night. His changeup was very good and had some good bite to it.
The Atlanta bullpen did a great job, for the most part, at keeping the Brewers at bay. Heller and Jimenez covered two scoreless innings between the 7th and 8th with 1 walk and 3 strikeouts combined.
Kirby Yates came in for the 9th inning for the save and it started off amazing as he struck out the first two batters faced but he ran into trouble with two outs. Andruw Monasterio battled hard and earned the first walk which was followed by a walk to Brice Turang.
This gave the Brewers a chance to walk things off and Blake Perkins put up a big at-bat to try and play spoiler. He found himself in a 2-1 count after the first three pitches and then fouled off 7 pitches in a row. Yates surprised everyone after throwing nothing but 4-seam fastballs and splitters by throwing a back door slider. It landed perfectly on the outside corner for strike three. Atlanta held on to win game one of the series by a final score of 6-4.
This was more of what fans have come to expect from this Atlanta team. Game two will take place Saturday at 7:15 pm EST on FOX. Allan Winans will start for the Braves for his MLB debut. He will be opposed by Adrian Houser (3-2, 3.79).