Tigers 1, Braves 2: Olson vs. Olson. Riley vs. Riley

Bless You Boys

Welcome to a new week, as the Tigers continue their road trip, now headed to Atlanta to take on the Braves.

The Monday night game saw Reese Olson take on Max Fried, and both pitchers were in fine form. The offense on both side, less so.

Mark Canha got a two-out single in the first, but no runs scored. Then in the bottom half Marcell Ozuna doubled. The Braves, too, were unable to bring the runner home.

The Tigers went 1-2-3 in the top of the second, and in the bottom half the Braves started off with an Austin Riley double, but three outs followed.

Again the Tigers were three-up, three-down in the top half of the third. In the home half Jarred Kelenic singled, then stole second. Two outs followed, once again stranding a man in scoring position.

In the fourth, Riley Greene got a two-out walk, then Gio Urshela singled. Justyn-Henry Malloy then walked, but the Tigers left them loaded. The Braves went down in order in the bottom half.

Onto the fifth and the Tigers were 1-2-3 in the top half, and the Braves settled for a single from Orlando Arcia, but no runners scored for the home team.

The sixth finally saw the Tigers make something work against Fried. Andy Ibanez singled, then Mark Canha drew a walk. Riley Greene then hit a well-placed single to bring Ibanez home and put the Tigers on the board first.

That chased Fried from the game and brought Jesse Chavez out of the pen. With two outs, Chavez had a balk that advanced the two runners. A horrific strike-three call ended the inning when the bases should have been loaded. Ugh. The Tigers would have to settle for the one run. Bottom of the sixth, the Braves went 1-2-3. That was then end of the night for Olson, who had a really nice outing, going 6.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 8 K on exactly 100 pitches.

In the seventh, the Tigers were not able to get a baserunner aboard. Will Vest came on in relief for the Tigers and gave up a double to Austin Riley, then two outs, and unfortunately then a single to Forrest Wall, which brought Riley home to tie the game. (What are the stats on people with the name “Riley” being involved in the only runs of the game?) Forrest Wall got caught stealing to end the inning.

Daysbel Hernandez was next of the Braves relievers to come out, and I just like his name. Mark Canha doubled, then Hernandez intentionally walked Greene. It worked in his favor because the Tigers failed to score. Shelby Miller came out of the Tigers’ pen and while he looked good getting two outs, he gave up a solo home run to Ozzie Albies to give the Braves the lead in a very inopportune place. It was the only run scored, but it was a big one.

It was down to the final three in the top of the ninth against former Tiger Joe Jimenez. Jimenez got three outs in a row to end the game.

Final: Braves 2, Tigers 1

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