For the second time in as many weeks, Bryce Elder toed the rubber against Sandy Alcantara. But while the result was the same — a Braves win — the way they won was a lot more encouraging.
Elder’s been spectacular for the Braves, peripherals be damned, but his first hiccup came in his last time out against the Marlins. He was able to gut out 5.1 innings, but he gave up four earned runs, thanks to three home runs. Tuesday night was much more stress free.
Elder was in complete control the entire game, striking out six batters and allowing just three hits over seven scoreless innings. The performance lowered his ERA to a minuscule 1.75 ERA. Not too shabby for a fifth starter that didn’t even make the Opening Day roster. Regression is inevitable, but Elder is here to stay. He knows how to pitch and doesn’t hurt himself with walks, even if his stuff is far from eye-popping. That goes a long way in this league, and every young pitching prospect should take notes.
Offensively, the Braves did much better versus Sandy Alcantara in their second matchup against the reigning NL Cy Young this season. Ozzie Albies opened up the scoring in the second with a solo shot, his eighth of the season. They added another run in the third on a double play with the bases loaded and scored their third run in the fifth on an Eddie Rosario single. By the sixth, Alcantara was out of the game, and then the floodgates opened.
Five walks in the eighth inning led to three runs and squashed any hope of a Marlins comeback. The Braves won the opening game of the series in Miami 6-0, giving them their sixth win in the last eight games. With the New York Mets getting rained out again in Detroit, Atlanta now has a 3.5-game lead in the NL East after just 30 games.
Photo: David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire
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