Reynaldo Lopez, Braves handle Athletics

Atlanta right-hander Reynaldo Lopez, working on an extra day of rest, threw six strong innings and the Atlanta Braves defeated the visiting Oakland Athletics 4-2 on Friday in the opener of a three-game series.

Lopez (3-2) allowed one run on four hits, two walks and a season-high eight strikeouts. It was the sixth time he has allowed one or fewer runs this season. Lopez has never allowed more than two earned runs in eight career appearances against Oakland.

The Braves bullpen covered the final three innings to hold off the Athletics. Pierce Johnson pitched around a walk to pitch a scoreless seventh. Joe Jimenez allowed a hit and walk before retiring the final three batters in the eighth. Raisel Iglesias allowed a run in the ninth and earned his 14th save.

Oakland starter JP Sears was able to spell the stressed bullpen by pitching seven innings. Sears (4-4) allowed four runs on six hits and two walks with five strikeouts.

Oakland left-hander Brady Basso, recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas earlier in the day, made his major league debut in the eighth inning and fanned the first batter he faced, National League home run leader Marcell Ozuna.

The Braves scored a run in the first inning on Matt Olson’s sacrifice fly. It was the first time they have scored in the first inning since May 20 against San Diego, a span of 11 games. Ozuna singled in the inning and has reached base safely in 24 consecutive games.

Atlanta added two runs in the second inning on a two-run double by Jarred Kelenic.

Oakland cut the lead to 3-1 in the fourth on Zack Gelof’s sacrifice fly that scored Miguel Andujar.

The Braves got the run back in the sixth inning when Orlando Arcia’s sacrifice fly brought home Olson.

Oakland finished with a 9-19 record in May. Atlanta went 13-14 and suffered its first losing month since June 2022.

–Field Level Media