The Atlanta Braves won their fourth straight game and improved to 4-0 at Truist Park after defeating the New York Mets 7-1 on Saturday night. With this win, Atlanta moved to 4-1 against New York on the season.
Braves Pile It on Early
The Braves got off to a quick start against Mets starting pitcher Michael Wacha. With two outs and the bases empty in the first inning, Wacha walked Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman. Then, outfielder Marcell Ozuna stepped up to the plate and delivered with a two-run home run to give Atlanta a 2-0 lead.
— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) August 1, 2020
The Braves weren’t done just yet, as they continued to add to their lead in the second inning. Two-out RBI doubles from catcher Tyler Flowers and outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr. and an RBI single from second baseman Ozzie Albies pushed the lead to 5-0. After Wacha was removed from the game in the fifth inning, the Braves had tagged him for five runs, seven hits, and a home run.
Toussaint Pitches Four Scoreless Innings
On Friday, Braves manager Brian Snitker announced that right-handed pitcher Touki Toussaint would get the start on Saturday. Toussaint was looking to get back on track after allowing six earned runs against the Tampa Bay Rays in his first appearance this season. Although the 24-year-old struggled with his command against New York, he managed to get through four scoreless innings while striking out five batters. He ran into some trouble in the fourth inning, as he gave up hits to right fielder Michael Conforto and second baseman Robinson Cano, and walked left fielder Dominic Smith. However, he struck out catcher Wilson Ramos and got a groundout from shortstop Amed Rosario to get out of the bases loaded jam.
“You look at something like and this and you’re like, man, all the hard work’s been paying off,” Toussaint told reporters. “It’s a building block that I’m [going to] go ahead and use and keep trying to get more innings in.”
Tomlin Saves the Bullpen
With Luke Jackson on the mound for the Braves in the fifth inning, things started to get dicey as Jackson struggled with his control. As a result, Jackson gave up two hits, a walk, and an earned run. He also went to a three-ball count with four of the five hitters he faced.
With Jackson on the ropes, Snitker called upon veteran pitcher Josh Tomlin to put out the fire. Tomlin did just that, and much more. Not only did he get out the jam and keep the game at 5-1, but he worked 2 1/3 innings while striking out three batters and not allowing a baserunner.
Acuña Gets Going
No one expected Acuña to be hitting .152 without a home run or RBI at the beginning of August. The young superstar has had a hard time catching up to fastballs and hasn’t looked like himself at the plate. Consequently, he leads the majors with 18 strikeouts through nine games. However, Acuña finally showed signs on Saturday that he was emerging from this slump. He doubled in a run in the second inning to lengthen the Braves lead to 5-0, and hit a line drive into the left-field seats in the sixth inning to make it 6-0. This home run came off the bat at 113.8 mph — his third-hardest hit home run of his career. Acuña and the Braves are hoping that this is what the phenom needs to finally get over the hump and return to form.
“He’s been working hard,” Snitker said after the game. “He’s here early every day. So that’ll be a nice shot in the arm if we can get him good, doing what he does.”
The Braves will host the Mets at Truist Park again on Sunday afternoon at 1:10 Eastern. The Braves will send Kyle Wright (0-1, 16.88 ERA) to the mound. David Peterson (1-0, 3.18 ERA) will make his second career start for the Mets.
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