Jun 3, 2014; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves second baseman Tommy La Stella (7) makes a diving stop for an out in the ninth inning against the Seattle Mariners at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Atlanta Braves lose home run battle with Seattle Mariners

The Atlanta Braves obviously didn’t learn from what happened in their Memorial Day game against the Boston Red Sox. With a 4-0 lead in the first inning, courtesy of a Freddie Freeman RBI single and an Evan Gattis 3-run homer, the Braves looked like they were on the way to an easy victory. Gavin Floyd had other ideas.

Floyd gave two of those runs right back in the top of the second, mostly due to a bad error by Chris Johnson on a throw to first. The Braves added another run back in the bottom half of the second taking the lead to 5-2, but Floyd continued to struggle throughout his start.

In the top of the 4th inning, Floyd gave up a single and walk. Then, he grooved a pitch to Stefen Romero that was deposited in the left field stands. That would tie the game at 5-5, and leave all of Braves Country extremely displeased with the 31-year-old right-hander. Floyd had to exit after just 5 innings, giving up a whopping 10 hits, 5 runs, a walk, and a blast. I don’t care how many runs you score as an offense, your starter can’t give up a run per inning.

To be fair to Floyd, this was his worst outing of the year, and he’s received almost no support. Floyd came into the came with a 2.37 ERA and no wins. Still, after the Braves staked him to a 4-0 lead, it was like Floyd didn’t know how to handle success. What made this especially disappointing was that Floyd had his best shot at a win that he’s had all year, but he totally blew it.

The game also could have spiraled out of hand a lot sooner than it did. Floyd actually started the 6th inning, but immediately gave up two singles. Avilan had to come in the game to try and quell the riot, but Seattle started playing small ball. The Mariners sacrificed the runners to 2nd and 3rd, meaning Avilan had to pitch around the next batter to set up the double play. With the bases load, Avilan proceed to strike out his next hitter, and then induce a grounder to end the inning. That was a huge success for Avilan, a guy many fans continue to question out of the bullpen.

Unfortunately, the Braves used up all their offense early. They were retired in order in the 6th inning, and then Alex Wood came on to pitch the 7th. Wood quickly got the first two hitters out before Ackley hit a slow roller up the first base side. Neither Wood or Freddie could handle it, resulting in an infield hit instead of the third out. That would prove to be a disaster as the next batter, catcher John Buck, took Wood deep to right, giving Seattle the lead 7-5. Count me among the people who can’t wait until Wood gets back in the starting role, as I don’t believe he’s remotely effective out of the bullpen.

In an American-League-bombs-away game that reminded me of the early 2000’s, the Braves simple couldn’t keep up the pace. The Braves had two homers, and the Mariners had two homers, but Seattle got 5 runs off their jacks to the Braves 4. That and an error would prove to be the difference in the game. The Braves lost another game where they had double digit hits, but they really missed the production from Justin Upton. Everybody else seemed to have the bats going except for Justin and Andrelton Simmons, who went combined to go 0-for-7. B.J. Upton, Evan Gattis, Chris Johnson, and Tommy La Stella all had multiple hits on the day, which was a good sign. It just wasn’t enough.

For those that count strikeouts, the Braves had 13 at the plate. It certainly didn’t look pretty, but the pitching really let them down. There’s no game the Braves should lost when they post 5 runs on the board. Braves went 3-11 with RISP, which isn’t too shabby. Again, just not enough. Hopefully, this loss won’t linger like the Boston losses did, but I think at this point it’s safe to say the Braves don’t like inter-league play in 2014.

The team will resume action against the Mariners on Wednesday, when they put on a “business man’s special” at 12:10 pm ET. Stay tuned.

Tags: Atlanta Braves

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