TORONTO – The good news is that in any season the Braves have won the World Series, they’ve had no win against the Blue Jays.

The good news is Atlanta can now turn the page on a weekend full of upsets after recently raising Raisel Iglesias blew a ninth-inning lead in a 6-5 loss to Toronto on Sunday afternoon at the Rogers Centre.

“We weren’t swinging the bat very well and we played poor defense,” Braves outfielder Kevin Pillar said. “We had a chance in the ninth and that’s how it is sometimes. When you’re in one of those things, it seems like everything happens to you – individually and as a team.”

This was always going to be a tough situation for the Braves, who learned on Tuesday that Max Fried and Kyle Wright will spend two months in their starting rotation. But when they found themselves on a four-game losing streak, starting the ballgame wasn’t the problem. Certainly not during this Toronto series.

Atlanta won 5-4 in the ninth inning on Sunday, building a bullpen game for the second time in four games (five days). The challenge of navigating a game with nothing but notes is over. But Iglesias faced six batters in the ninth, allowing three singles and a walk.

“We didn’t play our best game, but we had a chance to win the game,” manager Brian Snitker said. “Despite this, we were unable to close the deal. It’s disappointing, but this game is disappointing.”

That’s certainly one way to explain last weekend — or most of the Braves’ games against the Blue Jays over the past three seasons. Atlanta has now lost nine straight against Toronto, and the 2021 Braves won the World Series after going 0-6 against the Blue Jays in the regular season.

“We went through everything,” third baseman Austin Reilly said. “There is no panic. Now you have to swallow.”

What’s hard to swallow is how the Braves were swept in this series by Toronto.

Disappearing on Friday
Spencer Strider recorded 12 strikeouts and a career-high 32 swings and one loss while throwing 110 pitches over 6 2/3 innings. With Dylan Lee serving as the starter two days ago and AJ Minter unavailable, Snitker rolled the dice with Danny Young, who quickly allowed the Blue Jays to double their one-run advantage. But when the offense shuts down, it’s hard to call it a game-winner.

Saturday loss
Bryce Senior pitched effectively over five innings, but Marcell Ozuna’s two-run homer accounted for the only runs scored by Atlanta’s offense in four runs over a 27-inning span from Wednesday through Saturday. Any chance of winning this game faded as the Blue Jays walked 21 of 51 batters or allowed a hit in a 2-2 seventh-inning tie against Minter.

Again, this loss cannot be blamed on the start of voting. It was a frustrating, slow weekend for the Braves. Ronald Acuna Jr. and Ozzie Albies were hit by a miscommunication on Whit Merrifield’s shallow fly ball that landed and nearly started Toronto’s three-run second inning.

Pillar, who played in Toronto from 2013-19, also nearly collided with center fielder Michael Harris II on Matt Chapman’s fly ball, which resulted in a two-base error. Kirby Yates pitched around the problem in a scoreless seventh.

“There are days when the roof is open it’s difficult,” says Pilar. “For a lot of guys who haven’t played a ton here, you don’t feel a lot of wind at ground level. When the ball is up there, it’s high. The ball was going all over the place. We made some mistakes but I don’t think that cost us the game.

Acuna’s 28th career leadoff homer gave the Braves an immediate lead and Pilar silenced the fans with a homer to start the fourth. Albies’ two-run homer off Toronto starter Yusei Kikuchi in the third helped improve his OPS against left-handers to 1.274.

But for the first time this season and the sixth time since the start of 2022, the Braves lost at least three games. The monster hit came on the last two hits of the game — Brandon Belt’s 60.9 mph infield hit and Danny Jansen’s 85.1 mph walk.

“It was a weird weekend we’ll never forget,” Riley said.

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