By: Carson Field
After two days off due to rainouts, the Braves returned to the field on Friday. That time off didn’t benefit them.
For the third time of the year, Bourne fell to the Orleans Firebirds. This time — a road test at Eldredge Park — it was an 8-3 final score.
In every game against the Firebirds this year, one area has haunted the Braves: hitting. Bourne has averaged just 1.25 runs per game, and Friday was the highest amount of runs scored against Orleans for the Braves this year.
Out of the gate, Orleans starter Jake Eder was near unhittable. In five innings of work, Eder allowed zero runs on only two hits.
Good pitch location helped Eder gain momentum early.
“I think he was able to spot up his pitches really well,” infielder Jimmy Glowenke said. “We didn’t go up there with a plan, and he was able to build off that.”
For such a lopsided game, however, there were a few positives. Later in the game, after Eder exited, Bourne finally found a groove at the plate.
The Braves scored three runs in the top of the eighth, closing the gap to just two runs. But the Firebirds struck back in the bottom half and matched with three runs of their own.
Even though this was Bourne’s best offensive performance against Orleans this season, Glowenke — who went 2-for-4 — wasn’t satisfied.
“That’s always good when you can get baserunners on, it’s just unfortunate that we didn’t get enough of them,” Glowenke said. “Our approach was off tonight.”
Defensively, Friday was just as troublesome for Bourne. The combination of Colby Dunlop, Karl Johnson, Kerry Wright and Sean Harney gave up a combined eight earned runs and eight hits, putting the Braves in an inescapable hole.
But newcomer Braxton Roxby made the most of his first inning on the Cape. In the seventh, Roxby struck out the side and hit 96 miles per hour with his fastball.
“It felt great,” Roxby said. “A lot of hard work went into this. I’m glad I got to come up here and showcase what I’ve got.”
After a stellar outing like Friday’s, Roxby hopes to be one of the most reliable arms in the Braves’ bullpen.
“It definitely builds confidence,” Roxby said. “I just have to bring this mentality and the same stuff every night.”
Though Roxby impressed in his first appearance, it wasn’t enough of a push to give the Braves their 14th win of the year. Before the All-Star Game, the Braves take on Wareham at Doran Park on Saturday.