Braves' Soroka readies for next test against Cardinals
by Stats.com | FLMon
The Atlanta Braves will send one of their promising young arms to the mound on Wednesday in hopes of getting the club back on track after a horrible showing on Tuesday.
Right-hander Mike Soroka (3-1, 1.21) will face St. Louis right-hander Michael Wacha (3-0, 5.35) in the second game of the three-game series in Atlanta.
The Cardinals won the first game of the series 14-3 on Tuesday night, thanks to three three-run homers from Marcell Ozuna, Yadier Molina and Kolten Wong. St. Louis pounded Atlanta starter Mike Foltynewicz, an All-Star last year, for eight runs.
Soroka, Atlanta's No. 1 draft pick in 2015, is off to a great start. He is the first pitcher since earned runs became official in 1913 to allow one or fewer as a starter in eight of his first 10 career games. He gave up one run in six innings in his last start against the Arizona Diamondbacks but watched the bullpen blow the lead.
"A good start is just a good start, it's just that," Soroka said. "There's so many starts left just this season. It's cool to kind of see and look back on. It's going to be cool hopefully in a bunch of years when I look back on it, but as for right now, just looking to give the team a chance to win every single night."
Soroka will make his first career start against St. Louis.
Wacha was the first-round draft choice for St. Louis in 2012 and has a consistent force in the rotation for the last five seasons. The exception was last year when he made only 15 starts and spent the final three months on the injured list with a left oblique strain.
Wacha is 0-2 with a 4.12 in five career appearances against Atlanta, three of them starts. In his most recent start against the Braves on Aug. 13, 2017, he allowed four runs on eight hits in five innings and took the loss.
In his most recent start, Wacha got the victory in a 17-4 win over Pittsburgh. He pitched 5 2/3 innings and allowed four runs. The victory improved Wacha's record to 3-0 for the first time since 2015, when he opened the season 7-0.
The Cardinals finally showed some explosive offense on Tuesday. Molina, in particular, had a memorable night. Molina's homer, his fourth, was the 150th of his career and leaves him two shy of tying Ducky Medwick for 12th on the team's all-time list. Molina also doubled to tie Rogers Hornsby for fifth on the Cardinals' all-time list with 367.
"It is the ebb and flow of the season," St. Louis manager Mike Shildt said. "I don't want to overreact and I don't want to underreact and I want to stay true to that."
The Braves may be without center fielder Ender Inciarte, who left the game early Tuesday with back tightness.
Atlanta continues to jiggle its bullpen. On Tuesday, the designated veteran lefty Jerry Blevins for assignment and returned Kyle Wright to Triple-A Gwinnett, where he will return to the starting rotation.
Atlanta activated southpaw Jesse Biddle and recalled right-hander Wes Parson from Gwinnett. Both pitched on Tuesday with different results. Biddle allowed three runs on four hits and one walk in one-third of an inning. Parsons worked three scoreless frames.