Spencer Strider strikes out 9, Orlando Arcia hits walk-off single to down the Padres

Apr 4, 2023; St. Louis, Missouri, USA;  Atlanta Braves shortstop Orlando Arcia (11) reacts after
Apr 4, 2023; St. Louis, Missouri, USA; Atlanta Braves shortstop Orlando Arcia (11) reacts after / Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Braves got an early lead over the San Diego Padres in their home opener, but a three-run homer from Matt Carpenter off of Spencer Strider and a very rough relief outing from Kirby Yates put the Braves in a tough spot. The Braves would rally to tie the game at 6-6 in the eighth inning and then Orlando Arcia would walk the Braves off in the bottom of the ninth and give Atlanta a 7-6 win.

The Braves would get on the board first and it was thanks in large part to the continued good work that Ronald Acuna Jr. is putting in to start the season. After leading the game off with a double off of Blake Snell, he would take third on a Matt Olson groundout and then Austin Riley would bring him home on a sac fly to give the Braves a 1-0.

It was Spencer Strider's turn to get to work and he did just that through the first couple of innings of the game. In the game's first two innings, he would not give up a hit and only one walk while striking out three batters. In short, he looked like his usual self. Matt Carpenter can argue all he wants, the called strike three against him was beautiful.

Unfortunately, as the game was cruising along, Michael Harris II was unexpectedly pulled from the game and replaced by Sam Hilliard in center field in the fourth inning. Shortly afterwards, it was revealed that he left the game with lower back tightness. Thing went further off the rails in the fourth as Strider's command faltered, he got a couple of baserunners, and then Matt Carpenter teed off on a low fastball and the Padres took the lead 3-2. Strider would recover to strike out the next two batters, but that was not an ideal turn of events.

The Braves would tie the game, though, in the bottom of the fourth. Sean Murphy hit a laser of a double off the wall and then a couple of batters later, Kevin Pillar would bring him home with a RBI single. After three straight walks to Orlando Arcia, Ronald Acuna Jr., and Matt Olson, the Braves took the lead again by the score of 4-3.

Spencer had to really battle to get through five innings, but that is exactly what he did as struck out Trent Grisham and Manny Machado and got Xander Bogaerts to ground into a force out to escape from some trouble again. For a guy that clearly didn't have his command, especially in the second half of his start, Strider still had a nice line at 5 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, and 9 K.

After not being able to convert on a bases loaded chance in the bottom of the fifth, Lucas Luetge took over in the top of the sixth and immediately gave up a solo homer to Jake Cronenworth to tie the game. The rest of the inning was a bit of an adventure, but Luetge managed to get through without allowing San Diego to take the lead.

After the offense went quiet and a nice relief inning from Nick Anderson, we arrived at the later innings with Kirby Yates taking the hill in the top of the eighth. After leadoff walks to Xander Bogaerts and Jake Cronenworth, Yates nearly escaped without giving up a run, but a wild pitch with two outs gave the Padres a 5-4 lead. Yates would then make a throwing error on a ground ball which led to another run scoring and we were officially in "yikes" territory.

The Braves would get back at it in the bottom of the eighth. After Orlando Arcia roped a one out double, Matt Olson would bring him in with a single to make it a 6-5 game. After Austin Riley singled to give the Braves two runners with two outs, Travis d'Arnaud singled to bring Olson home and we had a tie game again.

After AJ Minter pitched around a couple of baserunners in the top of the ninth, Eddie Rosario gave the Braves hope of a walk-off with a two-out double. Orlando Arcia (who else?) answered the call and drove in Eddie with a walk-off single to give the Braves a 7-6 win.