Ozzie Albies homers, bullpen falters in Braves spring loss to the Tigers

Pittsburgh Pirates v Atlanta Braves
Pittsburgh Pirates v Atlanta Braves / Todd Kirkland/GettyImages

Ozzie Albies homered and Charlie Morton put up a decent line despite some shakiness with his command, but things went off the rails in the late innings as the Atlanta Braves fell to the Tigers in their spring training matchup on Saturday.

Charlie Morton got the start for the Braves on Saturday and he pitched into the third inning before getting lifted. The good news: he struck out three batters including the final two batters he faced and gave up no runs on one hit. The less great news: walking three batters in less than three innings of work is decidedly not great, but again...it's spring and he will probably be fine.

The Braves' offense, meanwhile, was quiet through the first inning, but things turned for the better in the second. After a pair of two out walks from Forrest Wall and Justin Dean, Ozzie Albies connected for his first home run of spring training which was really nice to see. Ozzie's spring has been decidedly not great, so any signs of life from him at the plate are welcome.

The Braves continued their good work in the third as Marcell Ozuna had a two-out single and after a double from Braden Shewmake (who is having a nice spring) drove Ozuna in, Eli White got in on the fun with an RBI single to make it a quick 5-0 lead for the Braves.

However, things got a bit ugly for the presumptive top two arms in the Braves bullpen once the Braves had that lead. Raisel Iglesias got knocked around a bit in the fourth as he gave up a pair of runs including a solo shot to Parker Meadows. In the fifth, AJ Minter was in trouble right off the rip as he allowed the first four batters he faced to reach base and he gave up a couple of runs before getting an out. Lucas Luetge would come in and restore order, though, so that is a positive takeaway at least.

The sixth inning was when the Braves starting bringing in the second string bats. Unfortunately, they would find themselves put in a hole as Luetge was not able to keep the Tigers at bay as a two-out, two-run single gave Detroit a 6-5 lead. Jake McSteen would come in and promptly gave up Parker Meadows' second home run of the game and just like that, the Braves were down three runs. Oh the wonders of spring training.

The Braves weren't going quietly, though, as back to back doubles in the bottom of the sixth got one of those runs back. An RBI single from Orlando Arcia pulled the game to 8-7 and the game was turning into a shootout.

However, things got one-sided in a hurry. Detroit would keep scoring in the seventh as they got a pair of runs off of Joe Jimenez. They would add six more in the eighth to make it 16-7 Tigers and now it was just about getting out of the game without anyone getting hurt.

The Braves take on the Pirates on Sunday at 1:05 EST and it looks like Jared Shuster will be taking the hill for the good guys.