SAN DIEGO — One week after referring to Charlie Culberson as “Charlie Angels in the Outfield,” Luke Jackson once again breathed a sigh of relief when Nick Markakis arrived just in the nick of time to make what might have been a game-saving catch in the Braves’ 7-5, 10-inning win
SAN DIEGO — One week after referring to Charlie Culberson as “Charlie Angels in the Outfield,” Luke Jackson once again breathed a sigh of relief when Nick Markakis arrived just in the nick of time to make what might have been a game-saving catch in the Braves’ 7-5, 10-inning win over the Padres on Saturday night at Petco Park.
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“In that situation of the game, you’re all in,” Markakis said in reference the catch he made as he crashed against the right-field wall to rob Francisco Mejia of a double that would have scored at least one run with one out in the 10th inning.
On a night when Padres closer Kirby Yates suffered just his second blown save in 32 chances this year, the Braves were not able to celebrate until their closer, Jackson, erased some self-inflicted stress by getting Padres reliever Luis Perdomo to look at 3-2 fastball with the bases loaded.
Following Friday’s two-homer performance, Donaldson gave the Braves an early lead with a two-run homer in the first inning Saturday. He then drew the leadoff walk that fueled the decisive, three-run 10th inning. Ozzie Albies delivered a go-ahead single to right and Tyler Flowers extended Perdomo’s woes by adding some necessary insurance with a two-run double.
As the Braves have matched a franchise-record run total through 93 games (503), they have feasted on pitching in the late innings. They have scored a NL-best 180 runs in the seventh inning or later. The Nationals rank second with 156 runs.
“They kept pushing on us, but we pushed harder,” Albies said.
As the Braves look toward the July 31 Trade Deadline, acquiring a frontline starting pitcher still appears to be the greater need. But despite the fact they have produced an MLB-best 2.81 bullpen ERA dating to May 18, there should still be a desire to add some late-inning experience to this inexperienced relief corps.