Right-hander Mike Foltynewicz returns to the majors following a six-start stint in Triple-A and will start Tuesday night’s game for the Atlanta Braves against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field in Minneapolis.
Foltynewicz (2-5, 6.37 ERA), a member of the 2018 National League All-Star team during a season that saw him go 13-10 with a 2.85 ERA, was demoted to the Gwinnett Stripers in the International League on June 23. He posted a 3.86 ERA in 10 starts there.
His return to the Braves is in the starting spot vacated by Kevin Gausman, who was claimed off waivers by the Cincinnati Reds on Monday.
“I’m looking forward to getting him back out there,” Braves manager Brian Snitker told MLB.com. “It looks like every outing has been a little better. His stuff has been good, the command and everything. I’m looking forward to seeing him come and provide a spark here.”
The Braves have lost three of their last four games with a revamped bullpen melting down in each of the last three games, including Monday night’s 5-3 loss to the Twins when Miguel Sano hit a two-run, pinch-hit homer with two outs in the bottom of the ninth off Chris Martin to win it in dramatic fashion.
Sano’s 443-foot bomb off the limestone facing of the second deck above the batter’s eye in center field was the first pinch-hit, walk-off homer hit by the Twins since April 19, 2006, when Michael Cuddyer did it against the Angels.
And, of course, Sano’s walk-off homer was only the second biggest in Minnesota history against Atlanta. The late Kirby Puckett won Game 6 of the 1991 World Series with an 11th-inning blast off Charlie Leibrandt.
“When I went out and hit, I was just thinking, one swing, and come back to the dugout,” Sano said. “It’s unbelievable.”
“I didn’t execute the pitch,” said Martin, who was acquired on July 30 from the Texas Rangers. “That’s supposed to be off the plate, get him leaning out a little bit, and then go from there. But obviously, you saw what happened. Left it out over the plate.”
Martin’s loss came after another reliever acquired at the trade deadline from the Detroit Tigers, Shane Greene, blew a save opportunity in an eventual 5-4 10-inning win over the Reds on Saturday, and then yielded a three-run game-winning home run to the Reds’ Tucker Barnhart in the 10th inning of a 6-4 loss on Sunday.
“Short-term memory,” Martin said when asked how he would move on after Monday night’s loss. “That’s the great thing about this game. We’ve got tomorrow to out there and get back at it.”
It doesn’t get any easier for the Braves, who saw their National League East lead drop to six games over Philadelphia and Washington.
Minnesota will start All-Star right-hander Jose Berrios (10-5, 2.80) on Tuesday night. Berrios will be making his first ever start against Atlanta and will be trying to win his third consecutive start.
He allowed just two singles over seven shutout innings in a 7-4 victory in his last start on Wednesday at Miami when he struck out a season-high 11 batters.
Foltynewicz has a 1-0 record and 8.74 ERA in three career appearances, including two starts, against the Twins.
–Field Level Media
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