Including one other chapter to his exceptional turnaround season, Mike Foltynewicz threw seven crisp innings earlier than pinch-hitter Adam Duvall hit a two-run homer that carried the Atlanta Braves to a 3-Zero victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday, night the NL Division Sequence at one recreation apiece.
Foltynewicz, who spent an excellent chunk of his summer time in Triple-A after a depressing begin, has been a special pitcher since coming back from the minors. He went 6-1 with a 2.65 ERA over his final 10 begins — a dominating run that carried proper into the postseason.
The most effective-of-five sequence now shifts to St. Louis, the place Mike Soroka will get the ball for the Braves in Sport Three on Sunday in opposition to Adam Wainwright.
Going in opposition to St. Louis ace Jack Flaherty, who had one of many nice second halves in baseball historical past, Foltynewicz allowed solely three hits, did not stroll anybody and struck out seven throughout an 83-pitch outing that saved the Cardinals from mounting any semblance of offense. They solely obtained one runner so far as second base in opposition to him — and that was within the second when Yadier Molina singled and Braves second baseman Ozzie Albies prolonged the inning by misplaying Paul DeJong’s grounder for an error.
No drawback for Foltynewicz. He fanned Harrison Bader to finish the menace.
After Kolten Wong hit right into a double play to finish the seventh, Duvall emerged from the dugout to hit for Foltynewicz within the backside half. With a runner aboard and two outs, Duvall was greeted by a smattering of boos from the SunTrust Park crowd that clearly wished Foltynewicz to go no less than yet another inning — particularly after the Braves bullpen imploded the night time earlier than in a Sport 1 loss.
The heckles turned to cheers when Duvall drove a 3-2 pitch from Flaherty into the center-field seats, giving the Braves a little bit of respiratory room. Duvall spent almost your complete season at Triple-A, the place he set a franchise file with 32 homers, so it would not be a stretch to say this as a lot a victory for the Gwinnett Stripers because the Braves.
Max Fried, usually a starter and pitching on back-to-back days for the primary time all season, breezed by way of the eighth earlier than turning it over to Mark Melancon, who gave up 4 runs within the ninth inning of the sequence opener, sending the Braves to a 7-6 loss.
It was one other shaky outing for Melancon, who gave up a pair of one-out singles earlier than hanging out Molina and Wong to earn the save.
However this one will likely be remembered for Foltynewicz outdueling Flaherty, who had surrendered three runs just one time in 15 second-half begins. The 23-year-old right-hander went 7-2 with an 0.91 ERA in 15 begins after the All-Star break, the third-lowest ERA over the second half in baseball historical past, surpassed solely by Jake Arrieta (0.75) for the 2015 Chicago Cubs and Greg Maddux (0.87) for the 1994 Braves.
Flaherty was the NL pitcher of the month for each August and September.
Foltynewicz has the sting for October honors, having pulled off his personal story of two seasons. An All-Star in 2018 who began two video games for the Braves in final 12 months’s playoffs, he was demoted to the minors in late June with a file of 2-5 and a 6.37 ERA.
Now, in a recreation the Braves completely needed to have, he turned in his finest efficiency of all.
The one time he was actually threatened was within the fourth, when Wong hit one to warning observe in proper with a person aboard for the third out.
Braves: RHP Chris Martin was changed on the 25-man roster after straining his left indirect on his very first warmup pitch whereas getting ready to pitch within the eighth inning of Sport 1.
Which means Martin will miss the remainder of this sequence, in addition to the NL Championship Sequence ought to the Braves advance. He could be eligible to return for the World Sequence.
Martin was changed by 10-game winner Julio Teheran.
The Braves have not led in a postseason sequence because the 2002 NLDS in opposition to San Francisco. That they had a 2-1 lead, however misplaced the ultimate two video games to Barry Bonds and the Giants — a part of a streak of 9 straight playoff losses that was just one away from the Chicago Cubs’ file for postseason futility.
Soroka (13-4, 2.68 ERA) has been particularly robust on the street (7-1, 1.55 ERA), which is why the Braves held him again till Sport 3. The 22-year-old right-hander will likely be going in opposition to the 38-year-old Wainwright (14-10, 4.29 ERA), a Georgia native who started his profession within the Braves group earlier than being traded to the Cardinals in 2003.
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