The Atlanta Braves gave Allan Winans a spot start on this Sunday afternoon, and he did not disappoint. It was a pitching duel for most of the afternoon until Ronald Acuña Jr. provided another MVP moment and spurred a late comeback 5-2 win.
After a quick scoreless first inning, the Braves got their first opportunity to score in the bottom of the second. Olson was at third base with two outs, but d’Arnaud quickly made a first pitch out on a weak ground ball to end the inning.
Winans kept on pumping in strikes and recorded a 1-2-3 top of the third. He was through three scoreless innings on just 37 pitches.
Ortiz was on cruise control this afternoon. Although the Braves recorded five straight exit velocities over 100 mph, they didn’t record their first hit until Matt Olson reached on an infield single with two outs in the fourth. Ortiz got Ozuna to groundout next and was through four innings on just 42 pitches.
The pitching duel continued between Winans and Ortiz as both pitched scoreless frames in the fifth and we made our way to the sixth inning tied at zero. Kind of the ideal game if you were trying to write a recap and take in the first NFL Sunday of the year.
The man who never makes an out against the Braves finally broke the scoreless affair. Bryan Reynolds doubled and scored Bae thanks to an aggressive send. Swuinski followed that with a double that extended the lead to 2-0.
The Braves finally got to the Pirates bullpen thanks to a walk to Acuña Jr. and a single from Riley. One wild pitch and Olson broken bat later, Atlanta was finally on the board. Unfortunately the Pirates maintained the lead by getting to Ozuna to groundout once again with RISP.
Pittsburgh immediately got a chance to get that run right back as Palacios tripled to lead off the top of the seventh. Brad hand came out the bullpen to try and get the final two outs and escape the jam, and he did so successfully. A pop out to Arcia sent the game to the stretch.
The game flipped in the seventh thanks to Ronald having another MVP moment. Acuña Jr. lined a double to centerfield with two men on and two outs, and as a result gave the Braves their first lead of the day. Olson gave the Braves some huge insurance when he snuck a single through the infield for two RBIs with the bases loaded. When it was all said and done it was an electric five run frame for the Braves.
Minter had an impressive eighth with three Ks. Iglesias followed with a nice ninth for his 29th save of the season. A very clean comeback victory for the Braves, who move to 93-49 on the year.