Recap: Braves suffer game two loss as offensive struggles continue

Atlanta Braves v Oakland Athletics
Atlanta Braves v Oakland Athletics / Lachlan Cunningham/GettyImages

The Atlanta Braves looked to bounce back from a tough loss in game one of their series with the Athletics. The Athletics had won just ten games at that point in the season so it was a tough loss to swallow. However, that's the game of baseball and sometimes you don't win the games you expect to.

With Bryce Elder on the mound in game two, the Braves had a great chance because he has been great since joining the rotation in 2023. Elder came into Tuesday night with a 3-0 record and 2.01 ERA which is the best ERA in the starting rotation and one of the best in all of baseball.

The Atlanta offense has struggled to add on runs past the early innings and that has followed them into Oakland as they were unable to overcome a five run deficit. With an offense as good as the one the Braves possess, you'd think they'd be scoring runs left and right. Unfortunately, they've not been able to and that led to a loss in game one against Oakland.

Game two started off with the Braves facing off with Oakland starter JP Sears and looked promising with an Acuna walk to start the game but he was picked off trying to steal second. That is unfortunate because Matt Olson singled and likely would have given Atlanta runners on the corners with no outs. However, the bottom of the first ended with a double play.

Bryce Elder had a pretty solid start to the game as he got through the first inning with relative ease. He got the first two outs and issued a walk to Seth Brown but ended the inning on a force out with the very next batter.

Things picked up a bit once the third inning rolled around and Kevin Pillar started the inning with a lead off homer off the foul pole in left field. Pillar has been a pretty good pickup for Atlanta as he has 22 hits including six homers and fourteen RBI in 84 at-bats.

However, that's all the runs the Braves could get in the third inning. Elder was then able to keep Oakland at bay until the fifth inning rolled around. Which was eerily similar to how things unfolded in Monday's fifth inning. Runners on first and second and Ruiz drives in a run with a RBI single. Luckily, Elder was able to force an inning-ending double play to keep things tied.

The Braves offense just couldn't get anything going the entire night. JP Sears left the game after six innings allowing just one run on four hits. It felt like the Braves could take advantage of a weak Oakland bullpen but that wasn't the case as the team couldn't get another hit after a fifth inning double by Kevin Pillar.

Bryce Elder was able to go 7.1 innings allowing just one run on five hits with three walks and five strikeouts. Despite the walks, Elder looked good for the most part and helped give the bullpen a little bit of rest. He was relieved after walking the second batter faced in the eighth inning by AJ Minter.

Minter has struggled mightily this season but ended up pitching 0.2 innings of scoreless ball with one strikeout. That was encouraging to see from Minter as the Braves need him to return to form sooner rather than later. The big surprise from the bullpen tonight was Raisel Iglesias.

Iglesias had never walked multiple batters in an inning but that wasn't the case tonight. In the bottom of the ninth, Iglesias walked three batters to load the bases for Oakland. He did have one strikeout in the inning and almost got out of the inning with a ground ball to third base that could have turned two. However, Austin Riley bobbled the ball and the A's were able to score and walk-off game two by a 2-1 final.

If you'd told me the Braves were going to lose the series in Oakland, I'd have called you crazy but this is baseball and you can't always predict the outcome. The Braves used to be the team other teams circled as a "W" on their calendars so fans should know all about beating teams you probably shouldn't.

With that being said, it doesn't take away the sting of losing to a team who had just 10 wins coming into the week. The team has struggled to get consistency offensively and the bullpen struggling hasn't helped either. Things certainly cannot continue this way and I don't think it will stay this way for long.

Atlanta will hope to salvage the final game of the series and head to Arizona on a good note. Jared Shuster will take the mound in the series finale which begins at 3:37 PM EST on Wednesday afternoon.