The Braves were held to five hits in the game, tied for their ninth-lowest output of the season. Their lowest, a two-hit game against Tampa Bay just before the All-Star break, still resulted in a 2-1 win.
“It was just kind of one of them that got away from us,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “... Their pitching is pretty good. That bullpen’s got some nice arms in it. Just a little bit too much to overcome today.”
The game also ended a stretch of 28 consecutive games with a home run for the Braves. That run, dating to June 10, was the longest streak in franchise history and the second longest in MLB history.
2. Allard was hit hard from the start. He gave up two singles in the first, but escaped after forcing a double play.
He wasn’t as fortunate in the second.
Andrew Vaughn led off with a single before Jake Burger hit a 463-foot homer to center field. Allard looked like he was going to limit the damage after a walk and two outs, but he allowed three consecutive singles to the top three White Sox hitters. He was pulled when Braves manager Brian Snitker noticed he didn’t look right.
“I didn’t really get exactly which pitch,” Snitker said. “I just noticed him moving his arm and shoulder, just something didn’t look right.”
The team referred to it as left shoulder tightness and said Allard would get an MRI. Allard finished with a final line of 1-2/3 innings pitched, seven hits, four earned runs, a walk and a strikeout.
3. Collin McHugh relieved Allard and pitched 1-2/3 innings, giving up two runs. In all, six pitchers threw for the Braves, including Michael Soroka.
Soroka made his first career appearance in relief, pitching three innings. He gave up three hits, including a two-run home run to Luis Robert Jr. in the sixth, but was generally pleased with how the outing went.
“Honestly, you almost feel like more (of) a team player out of the bullpen,” Soroka said. “... It’s fun just to be able to do something different, kind of play with some things, play with the routine a little bit, and I thought it worked well.”
The home run was the first the Braves’ bullpen gave up in July. Every other team’s bullpen had given up a home run in the month. Even with the four runs Sunday, Braves relievers have the best ERA in the National League and third best in MLB.
4. Ronald Acuña Jr. was a lone offensive bright spot for the Braves, reaching base in his first three plate appearances. He walked in his first two at-bats and singled to right field in the fifth. He ended the day 1-2 with two walks, improving his NL leading OPS to 1.007.
Acuña did not attempt a stolen base on Sunday. He remains tied for MLB’s stolen base lead at 43 with Oakland’s Esteury Ruiz.
5. The loudest cheers of the day came in the ninth inning, when utility man Charlie Culberson came to the plate to pinch-hit. Culberson has spent much of the season as the Braves’ 26th man, on the roster but without an on-field role. The plate appearance was the first time Culberson has seen the field this season.
The second loudest cheers of the day came just after. Culberson beat out a ground ball to shortstop, recording his first hit since Oct. 5, 2022.
“Honestly, it kind of felt like a debut again,” Culberson said. “It’s been a couple of months. To be able to do it here in Atlanta was pretty special.”
Stat to know
1.000 - Charlie Culberson’s batting average
“It happens. I’ll be honest with you, I’d be lying if I said (otherwise). We will probably lose another one before the year’s over, quite honestly, if you want to be realistic about this” - Snitker, on losing the series
The Braves are off Monday. The Diamondbacks come to Atlanta on Tuesday for a three-game series. All-Star Bryce Elder (7-2, 2.70 ERA) will Zach Davies (1-5, 6.37) in the opener. First pitch is at 7:20 p.m.