The Braves christened their new ballpark on Friday during an exhibition game against the Yankees. Traffic issues notwithstanding, the park drew an estimated 21,392 fans, who were rewarded with an 8-5 win thanks to some late-game heroics from shortstop Jace Peterson.
The first home run in SunTrust Park history, however, came not from the Braves but from the bat of Yankees’ first baseman Greg Bird, who went deep in the third inning against Atlanta right-hander Bartolo Colon:
The Braves responded in the bottom of the third when Freddie Freeman punished a 1-0 pitch from Michael Pineda for a three-run homer over the right field fence. They tacked on another five runs in the sixth, capitalizing on a fielding error and bases-loaded walk and adding a three-run double to overtake the Yankees, 8-5.
While the Braves may not have been the first to record a home run in their new ballpark, the rest of their performance looks like a good omen as the team heads into the 2017 season. They’re scheduled to make their official season debut in the park on April 14 against the Padres.
The Diamondbacks announced on Monday that starter Shelby Miller has been placed on the 10-day disabled list with right elbow inflammation. Miller will get a second opinion on his elbow on Tuesday, per MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert. Pitcher Silvino Bracho has been called up from Triple-A Reno to take Miller’s spot on the roster.
Miller, 26, left Sunday’s start with what was described at the time as forearm tightness. Through his first four starts, Miller is carrying a 4.09 ERA with a 20/12 K/BB ratio in 22 innings.
Bracho, 24, has pitched quite well in 6 2/3 innings of relief at Reno. He’s given up just one unearned run on four hits and a walk (intentional) with 12 strikeouts.
Archie Bradley figures to take Miller’s spot in the starting rotation as Bracho will work middle relief.
And John Lackey is livid.
The Brewers’ first baseman homered in each of his first two plate appearances against Reds starter Amir Garrett on Monday evening, helping his team to a 6-1 lead after two frames. The first was a solo blast in the first inning, and the second was a two-run shot to the opposite field in the second inning.
According to MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy, Thames has tied the Brewers’ record for home runs in April with 10. Carlos Lee also hit 10 homers in April 2006.
Seven of Thames’ 10 home runs have come against the Reds. Including his first two at-bats on Monday night, Thames is hitting .379/.474/.924 with 17 RBI along with the 10 dingers. Not too shabby from a guy the Brewers signed to a three-year, $16 million contract during the offseason.
Lackey and Cubs pitching coach Chris Bosio both recently implied Thames is using performance-enhancing drugs, but Thames was tested immediately after last Monday’s game against the Cubs.