Toussaint Shines in MLB Debut, Braves Back Atop NL East

In his Major League debut, Touki Toussaint, who was called up to be the 26th man on the Braves’ roster for the first game of Monday’s doubleheader with the Marlins, pitched 6 strong innings as Atlanta cruised to a 9-1 win in game 1.

After Toussaint retired his first 3 batters faced, Ronald Acuna Jr. got the Braves offense rolling with a leadoff homer, his 16th on the season.

Toussaint, a former first-round pick by the Diamondbacks in 2014, got himself in the most trouble of the day in the 2nd inning, after walking Derek Dietrich and giving up a single to J.T. Riddle, Issac Galloway evened the game at 1-all with an RBI double. With runners on 2nd and 3rd and 0 outs, Toussaint was able to get a short fly ball for out number 1, before striking out the next two batters to get out of the jam.

The Braves offense took control from there, with Nick Markakis and Johan Camargo delivering back-to-back doubles, putting the Braves ahead 2-1 in the bottom of the 4th inning. A 5-run 6th inning began with Camargo once again doubling, before Kurt Suzuki was hit by a pitch and Charlie Culberson drove Camargo in on a double of his own.

More: Braves Offense En Fuego, A Look At The Stats

Acuna then recorded his second hit of the day, when his double to left center scored Suzuki and Culberson. Ozzie Albies then followed with a 2 run single back up the middle, giving the Braves an 8-1 lead.

Touki allowed just 2 hits to go along with the 1 earned run, while striking out 4 batters and walking just 2. He threw 52 strikes on just 82 pitches and ended the game with a 1.50 ERA.

Here’s Manager Brian Snitker on the win and the future of Toussaint in the rotation:

Jesse Biddle allowed two runners to reach base in the 7th, but a double play quickly got him out of the inning. Chad Sobotka threw the final 2 frames for Atlanta, striking out 3 and walking 3 batters, but avoided giving up any hits or runs to close game 1 out. Sobotka also picked up his first Big League hit in the bottom of the 8th.

The Braves (65-51) now move into sole possession of first place in the NL East, with a chance to go up a full game on Philadelphia in game 2 of the doubleheader, as the Phillies are idle today.

More: Tribe Report: What To Do About Jason Kipnis?

Acuna went 2-for-3 with 2 walks, a stolen base, and 3 runs scored to lead the Atlanta offense, while Freddie Freeman saw his 14-game hitting streak come to an end. Albies went 2-5 and added 2 additional RBI’s, while Camargo finished with 2 hits and Suzuki scored twice.

All-Star Mike Foltynewicz (9-7) will go against Merandy Gonzalez, who his making his first career Major League start for the Marlins, who basically have a Minor League roster at this point in the season.

Game 2 Recap here: Folty throws a dandy, Acuna can’t stop hitting homers

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(Image belongs to Atlanta Braves, via Twitter)

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