At 16-20 through 36 games, the Braves are scuffling, but everything seems to come a little easier when Ronald Acuña is back in the lineup. Atlanta’s 24-year-old phenom returned after missing five games Tuesday night, and it didn’t take him long to get acclimated.
Acuña led off the game with a single and then attempted to steal a base while Matt Olson was up, but the result was ball four. The Braves weren’t able to take advantage in the first inning, but later in the game, Acuña hit a hot shot to third, which resulted in the first run of the ball game. The play was eventually ruled an error; however, I felt it was one that could have gone either way.
Acuña wasn’t done just yet, though. In the eighth, he reached on a walk and stole his sixth base of the season before Marcell Ozuna came up with the biggest hit of the game — a two-run homer that went 421 feet down the left field line, stretching the Braves’ lead to three. Acuña also walked again in the ninth to load the bases, but the Braves couldn’t take advantage.
It was a lead Atlanta was able to hold because, as a team, they shut out the Brewers. Tucker Davidson looked spectacular for most of the night, tossing five scoreless innings of three-hit ball in his first game back after a stint in Gwinnett. There were several moments when he appeared to lose his control, but every time he got into trouble, he was able to make the critical pitches and find his way out of it. Given the Braves’ current situation, there’s no reason Davidson shouldn’t get another opportunity five days from now.
It was the same story for the Braves’ bullpen as well. The Brewers brought the go-ahead run to the plate in the seventh and eighth innings, but to no avail. In the seventh, A.J. Minter came up with a strikeout with a runner on third, and in the eighth, it was Will Smith forcing a groundout with the bases load. The ninth belonged to Kenley Jansen, who shut the door for his ninth save of the season.
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