The Atlanta Braves continue to struggle a little in the second half as their offense has been inconsistent compared to the first half. They faced the Red Sox in a game that was delayed by a little over an hour and a half due to rain.
Things looked promising early on as the Braves scored in the first inning as they've done most of the season. However, a strange play ended the inning and things just snowballed from that point and never got any better.
Atlanta scored their first run on an RBI single from Sean Murphy but after that, chaos ensued. Marcell Ozuna hit a ball to second base that appeared to be caught but the umpire never signaled that it was caught. The second baseman then threw the ball away at first.
There was a ton of confusion and the umpires talked for a while. Ultimately, after discussing things and the Red Sox appealing a throw to third base, it was determined the Braves were doubled up to end the inning and only scored one run.
Apparently, they called Ozuna out on the "catch" and then Riley was ruled out for leaving the base early. He was out after the Red Sox appealed to third base once everything was sorted out. I still don't fully understand because nothing was reviewed and it would have at least helped for the umpires to explain what was happening to the fans.
After that, things just never really got better for the Braves as Nick Pivetta shut them down for 5 innings, and were unable to score on the rest of the Boston bullpen despite getting runners on in the late innings. However, there were a couple of bright spots to consider. Let's break down the action from Tuesday's 7-1 loss to Boston.
Uncle Charlie not at his best
Charlie Morton was coming off of an impressive performance in his previous outing for Atlanta. However, he struggled a bit on Tuesday as Boston came right back in the bottom of the first and took a 2-1 lead after the Braves scored in the top half of the inning.
The Red Sox scored two more runs in the bottom of the fourth inning. An RBI single that got under the glove of Albies scored Chang from third base to make it 3-1. Chang was walked by Morton but then stole second base but a rare throwing error from Sean Murphy allowed him to make it to third.
The 4th run came on another RBI single from Rafael Devers to left field that landed in front of Eddie Rosario. After that fourth run scored, Michael Tonkin relieved Morton to get the final out of the inning.
Morton ended his day after 3.2 innings of work and allowed 4 runs on 6 hits with a whopping 5 walks and 1 strikeout. It was not his best performance on the mound and the bullpen unforunately didn't fair much better later on.
Braves bullpen struggles to keep the Sox at bay
Michael Tonkin checked in for Morton in the fourth inning and hit the first batter he faced but was able to get the last out. He came back out for the fifth inning and allowed three singles which helped Boston extend their lead to 5-1.
Tonkin finished with 2.1 innings pitched and 1 run scored on 4 hits. He was relieved by Joe Jimenez in the 7th inning and struck out the side for the first and only clean inning on the night. Jimenez has looked like a completely different pitcher lately.
Daysbel Hernandez made his second appearance for the Braves and unfortunately allowed a two-out, two-run home run in the bottom of the 8th to help Boston extend their lead to 7-1 over Atlanta. He also had one walk and one strikeout in the inning.
The bullpen cannot continue to be leaky like this and hopefully, it improves sooner than later.
8-3-5 Triple Play?! Yes, that actually happened.
To touch on better news, the Atlanta Braves made some history on Tuesday night. In the bottom of the third, Boston had two runners on with no outs.
Triston Casas hit a fly ball to Michael Harris II who caught the ball and threw back to first to double up Adam Duvall who made a horrible baserunning error. Matt Olson then threw a laser to Riley at third to tag out Yoshida for the final out to give the Braves their first triple-play since 2004!
It was exhilarating to see that happen live as it developed so quickly. Kudos to our entire defense for handling that situation so perfectly.
Not only was it the first triple-play since May 6th, 2004 but it was also just the second triple-play all-time that was of the 8-3-5 variety. The other team to do so? The Boston Beaneaters all the way back in 1884. So, the Braves organization now carries two of the 8-3-5 triple-plays in all of MLB history.
This is definitely an amazing highlight to talk about despite a disappointing loss on a tough night for the Braves. Atlanta will hope to get back to their winning ways as they take on Boston in game two of the series on Wednesday.
Spencer Strider will face off against Brayan Bello as that game gets underway at 7:10 PM EST on ESPN.