Braves Recap: Bullpen game once again unsuccessful in 7-3 loss
By Chase Owens
The Braves got off to a promising start as Matt Olson gave them a 2-0 lead early on. Unfortunately, Logan Gilbert was magnificent the rest of the way as he got a lot of swing and misses on his splitter. Gilbert finished with a final line of 6 IP 4 H 2 ER 1 BB 9 Ks and his first win since April 12th. The offense was quiet for most of the night after the first inning and the bullpen game saw a couple hiccups from some guys.
It took just five pitches in the game and the Braves had three hits with over 100 mph exit velocity. After Ronald Acuña Jr. got yet another first inning hit, Matt Olson deposited the second pitch he saw over the left-centerfield wall and gave the Braves a 2-0 lead. Atlanta got a couple more baserunners in the first, but Gilbert was able to strike out Ozuna to end the inning.
The ageless Jesse Chavez worked through 2.1 innings of scoreless baseball including a nice double play he turned to end the first. Michael Tonkin was then handed the ball and ran into big trouble in the top of the fourth inning. After Orlando Arcia booted a potential double play ball (his first error of the season) Taylor Trammell singled with the bases loaded to cut the lead to 2-1. One batter later Jose Caballero hit a sac fly to tie the game 2-2. J.P. Crawford then followed with a two-out single to give the Mariners a 3-2 lead. Thankfully the scoring stopped there as Tonkin got Ty France to groundout to end the inning. After four singles and an error Seattle had a 3-2 lead after four innings.
Unfortunately this was probably Tonkin’s roughest outing of the season, although the defense was shaky at best behind him. The traffic on the bases continued as Eugenio Suarez had Seattle’s second sac fly and the red hot Teoscar Hernandez had an RBI single to chase Tonkin in the fifth with the Mariners up 5-2. On came Joe Jimenez who was able to hold the score there and see if the Braves bats could get a rally going off Gilbert.
Although it was one of Tonkin’s worst outings of the season, inversely it was one of Jimenez’s best of the year as he went 1.2 innings without surrendering a hit and racking up three strikeouts. He then handed the ball to Kirby Yates who promptly gave up a two run bomb to Suarez and stretch the lead to 7-2 for Seattle.
Finally the Braves saw someone out the Seattle bullpen in the bottom of the seventh, unfortunately for them it was Matt Brash who came in and threw some of the natsiest sliders Atlanta has seen all season and kept the game at 7-2.
Lucas Luetge then got his first action since coming off the injuried list and proceeded to work a scoreless eighth. For the bottom of the eighth the Braves got to Justin Topa once again, unfortunately it was only for one run as an Austin Riley sac fly cut the lead to 7-3. Another positive to take from this game was A.J. Minter beginning to look like his old self once again as he pitched a scoreless ninth inning with two strikeouts.
Paul Seward would shut the Braves down in the ninth to give Seattle the win to the tune of a 7-3 final. This loss dropped the Braves to 0-3 in bullpen games this year. They will look to bounce back tomorrow afternoon in the rubber match against Seattle.