Olson, Albies homer as Tonkin, Braves hold off Reds 7-6

ATLANTA (AP) – Matt Olson and Ozzie Albies homered and the Atlanta Braves overcame a rocky season debut by Kyle Wright to beat the Cincinnati Reds 7-6 on Tuesday night.

Michael Tonkin (1-1) earned his first win since 2016 by pitching three scoreless innings, allowing one hit with three strikeouts, in relief of Wright. The 33-year-old Tonkin pitched for Minnesota from 2013-17 before finally earning his way back to the majors this year.

The Braves led 7-4 before Jose Barrero’s two-run homer off Joe Jiménez in the eighth trimmed the lead to one run. Barrero had three RBIs.

Nick Anderson pitched a perfect ninth for his first save since 2021.

Wright, who opened the season on the injured list with right shoulder inflammation. struggled with control, walking four batters and allowing four runs in three innings.

The Reds sent 10 batters to the plate in the third against Wright, who was 21-5 with a 3.19 ERA to lead the majors in wins in 2022. Wright allowed four runs and walked three batters in the inning.

Wright hit Tyler Stephenson with a pitch for the second time in as many at-bats to force in a run, and his bases-loaded walk to Barrero pushed home another run. Spencer Steer drove in two runs with an infield single, with Jake Fraley’s slide across the plate beating Olson’s throw from first.

Reds right-hander Luis Cessa (0-1) couldn’t hold a 4-1 lead. Ronald Acuña Jr. had a run-scoring single in the third before Albies’ two-run homer was the big hit in a three-run fourth.

Cessa allowed five runs on seven hits and two walks in 3 2/3 innings.

Albies’ homer was the 100th of his career. Sam Hilliard’s double drove in Marcell Ozuna, who singled, later in the fourth to give Atlanta a 5-4 lead.

Olson’s first-inning homer carried 448 feet into the right-center stands and had an exit velocity of 118.6 mph.

Steer set a career high with three hits.


Braves RHP Ian Anderson will have Tommy John surgery after tests revealed a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. Anderson, 24, began the season at Triple-A Gwinnett. He struggled with control problems in spring training and in his only start at Gwinnett. He won 10 games for Atlanta in 2022 after playing a key role in the team’s 2021 World Series championship. … LHP Max Fried (hamstring) handled fielding drills with no issue in what manager Brian Snitker described as “a good step forward” in his rehabilitation. Fried has continued to throw since he was placed on the IL on April 4, retroactive to April 1, and is not expected to need a minor league rehab stint before returning to the active roster.


Reds RHP Hunter Greene (0-0, 5.63) will look for his first win of 2023 in Wednesday night’s final game of the three-game series against RHP Spencer Strider (1-0, 2.45). Greene, who was Cincinnati’s opening-day starter, has yet to complete five innings in two starts.


AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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