The Atlanta Braves needed Ian Anderson to go out in his MLB debut and pitch six strong innings and look better than Gerrit Cole.
Well, that's easier said than done. That might have been a bad bet for the folks in Las Vegas.
But that's exactly what happened in game one of the double-header at Truist Park in Atlanta.
Anderson allowed one run on one hit in six tremendous innings of work, walking only two and striking out six. His lone mistake was allowing a solo home run off the bat of Yankees first baseman Luke Volt in the sixth inning.
Anderson did something other young Braves pitchers have been unable to do this season - throw strikes. He had 90 pitches and threw 55 strikes. It was a relief to see a young pitcher get ahead in the count and not waste pitches, along with pitching to contact.
The Braves jumped on Cole in the first inning when Ronald Acuna, Jr. made his return off the injured list with a long home run to left field to give the Braves a 1-0 lead.
Then in the third inning, Dansby Swanson continued his great hitting with a two-run home run, his fourth of the season. Then two batters later Marcell Ozuna hit his eighth home run of the year to make it 4-0.
Shane Greene came in to close out the game in the seventh inning. He gave up only one hit.
The win by Anderson was the first of the season by a Braves starting pitcher not named Max Fried. The rest of the rotation had been 0-9 with an ERA of 7.06.
Oh, and by the way, Anderson is now the Atlanta Braves number two starter.
The Braves are now 17-12 and go for the sweep of the double-header with Fried (4-0, 1.32) on the mound against Masahiro Tanaka (0-1, 4.60) for the Yankees.
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