Tucker Davidson shut down the Brewers and the offense did the rest as the Braves beat Milwaukee, 3-0, on Tuesday at American Family Field.

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Here are five observations on Atlanta (17-20):

1. Before the game, Braves manager Brian Snitker said that, with his club’s current bullpen situation, he hopes Davidson can hold down the fifth-starter job.

Tuesday was quite the start to that.

He took a 9 a.m. flight from Atlanta, arrived in Milwaukee at around 11 a.m., then tossed five scoreless innings hours later. He allowed only three hits and walked three, but most of his trouble came with two outs and he escaped each time. He struck out three batters and threw 69 pitches.

“It’s huge,” Davidson said. “That’s what I wanted to do out of spring training this year. I made the team and obviously got sent down, but I was able to kind of focus more just on myself and continued to grow with the shortened spring training and kind of got an extra month essentially. And just come out here, and hopefully can run away with it.”

The lefty had at least one baserunner on in every inning after the first, but showed poise. He looked much better than he did in early April, when he allowed five runs over 2 2/3 versus the Nationals.

Davidson, who debuted in 2020, picked up his first career win. He felt more confident on Tuesday than in previous seasons.

“Yeah, and I even noticed that my first outing up here (this season),” he said. “I was a lot calmer, kind of understood what I was supposed to be doing. Hey, you just go out and attack, throw strikes, and if your stuff’s good enough, that’s going to play.”

2. One moment, Ronald Acuña swiped second base for his sixth stolen base of the season. The next, he tagged up on a pretty shallow fly ball to right field and still made it to third base with relative ease, via a headfirst slide.

The groin seems fine.

In his first game since May 10, Acuña finished 1-for-3 with two walks and the stolen base. His hit was a first-inning infield single in which he showcased his speed.

“There was no particular desire to showcase the skills or anything like that,” Acuña said. “That’s the style that I play and that’s just the way that I play baseball. With something like that, it’s just about playing my game and being open and vocal about how I’m feeling.”

Combined ShapeCaption
Atlanta Braves' Ronald Acuna Jr. hits an RBI single during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Milwaukee Brewers Tuesday, May 17, 2022, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

Credit: AP

Atlanta Braves' Ronald Acuna Jr. hits an RBI single during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Milwaukee Brewers Tuesday, May 17, 2022, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

Credit: AP

Combined ShapeCaption
Atlanta Braves' Ronald Acuna Jr. hits an RBI single during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Milwaukee Brewers Tuesday, May 17, 2022, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

3. The Braves on Tuesday placed Tyler Matzek on the injured list, which created a ripple effect in the pitching staff.

Spencer Strider, who may have otherwise been a rotation candidate, will see more time in the bullpen, perhaps in high-leverage spots. A.J. Minter, Collin McHugh and Will Smith will need to step up as well.

And because Strider appears to be a reliever for now, Davidson could have some runway to keep the fifth-starter role. This has been somewhat of a revolving door for the Braves.

Huascar Ynoa held it, then Bryce Elder, then Strider followed opener Jesse Chavez.

Now it’s Davidson’s turn.

“It’s a great opportunity for him,” Snitker said. “We need somebody to fill that spot and he made a really nice statement that he wants it.”

4. The Braves only led by a run, which is precarious for numerous reasons. With two outs in the top of the eighth, Marcell Ozuna gave them some breathing room.

He blasted a 421-foot, two-run home run to give them a three-run lead. The ball left his bat at 109 mph, according to Baseball Savant.

And if you’ll recall, Ozuna’s game-tying homer in the thrilling comeback victory over San Diego also came with two outs.

“Hopefully something like that gets him going, because we know what he’s capable of and if he can get on track, he would be a huge part of what we’re trying to do,” Snitker said.

In the bottom of the eighth, lefty reliever Smith, who entered for A.J. Minter, walked a batter to load the bases but escaped with a grounder on which Austin Riley made a nice stop before throwing to first for the third out.

5. To begin the game, the Braves put men on first and second. The next three made outs. This has become all too common.

Given these struggles with runners in scoring position, the Braves will take runs any way they come.

In the fifth inning, Acuña, playing in his first game since May 10, smoked a 106-mph grounder right at the third baseman, who couldn’t grab it. Adam Duvall, who had singled with one out, scored from second base.

“We hadn’t scored in a few hours,” Snitker said.

Braves 3, Brewers 0

Stat to know

20 - The Braves’ run in the fifth inning snapped of streak of 20 consecutive scoreless innings by their offense.

Quotable

“He’s awesome, he’s dynamic. Top-five player in the game.” - Davidson on Acuña

Up next

Braves left-hander Max Fried will face reigning NL Cy Young Award winner Corbin Burnes in Wednesday’s series finale, which begins at 1:10 p.m. ET.