If the Braves’ starting pitching rotation was in disarray when the season began, as it seemed to be with two members on the injured list, it seems pretty well arrayed right now.
Rookie Kyle Wright pitched six strong innings Saturday night at SunTrust Park, allowing just two runs and five hits, in a game the Braves eventually lost 4-2 to the Miami Marlins on a two-run ninth-inning homer by Jorge Alfaro off A.J. Minter.
The homer was Alfaro’s second of the night, his first career multi-homer game, and the loss was the Braves’ first in five games on this homestand, which concludes with a Sunday afternoon game against the Marlins. The Braves stranded 14 baserunners Saturday.
Wright held the Marlins scoreless through the first four innings, extending a scoreless streak by Braves starting pitchers to 20 innings. That streak included the final three innings of Julio Teheran’s start Wednesday, Max Fried’s six scoreless innings Thursday and Kevin Gausman’s seven scoreless innings Friday.
The streak ended in the fifth inning Saturday when Wright allowed a leadoff home run to Alfaro on a hanging curveball and, two outs later, another solo homer to Peter O’Brien. Wright was removed for a pinch-hitter in the sixth inning with the game tied 2-2.
“I had a really good slider this outing,” Wright said. “I was able to throw that for a strike and kind of put guys away with it.
“The one pitch I didn’t really have was my curveball,” said Wright, regretting his decision to throw one to Alfaro.
“I really liked what I saw tonight out of Kyle,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “Very impressive. His stuff was good.”
After allowing 10 earned runs in 12-2/3 innings (7.11 ERA) across the season’s first three games in Philadelphia, the Braves’ starters have allowed only three earned runs over 28 innings (0.96 ERA) over the five games of this homestand.
And that is without their presumptive No. 1 starter, Mike Foltynewicz, in the rotation. He opened the season on the injured list and made a rehab start at Triple-A Gwinnett on Thursday, throwing 56 pitches over five hitless innings. He is scheduled for another rehab start Tuesday.
After Wright exited Saturday’s game for pinch-hitter Matt Joyce, who doubled, Wes Parsons worked a scoreless seventh inning (allowing one hit) and Chad Sobotka a scoreless eighth (despite two walks). But in the ninth, Minter allowed a leadoff single by Starlin Castro at the end of an 11-pitch at-bat and then the home run by Alfaro over the right-field wall on a 2-2 pitch.
“I felt good. That’s the frustrating part about it,” said Minter, who pitched in a game for just the second time this season. “Sometimes, you’ve just got to tip your cap.
“I thought the velocity was there tonight. ... I just got beat.”
The Braves loaded the bases with two out in the bottom of the ninth, but pinch-hitter Charlie Culberson popped out to end the game.
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