Prospect Allard wins debut, singles in 1st AB

August 1st, 2018

ATLANTA -- Even though Kolby Allard knew he would be sent back to Triple-A Gwinnett following Tuesday's start, that didn't stop the 20-year-old left-hander from garnering a few firsts in the big leagues.

And he has a collection of baseballs from an 11-6 win over the Marlins to prove it.

"First hit, first pitch, first strikeout," Allard said. "Those are the three things I'm keeping."

Some wet Georgia weather at SunTrust Park nearly kept Allard from making his Major League debut with the Braves, and by 9 p.m. ET, the rain was still coming down as he made his way out to the mound to face the Marlins.

After giving up back-to-back singles to open the game, Allard settled in with his four-seam fastball, which remained in the high-80s and low-90s throughout his first start in the Majors.

In earning the victory, Allard became the youngest Braves left-handed starter to win his debut since Charlie Vaughan did so Sept. 3, 1966, at the age of 18 years, 332 days.

"I thought he handled himself great," Braves manager Brian Snitker said. "He wasn't overwhelmed with the situation with the long rain delay and making [his] debut."

Allard, though, would be the first to say Tuesday night's start wasn't his best. Atlanta's No. 8 prospect (92nd overall), according to MLB Pipeline, was chased with no outs in the sixth inning after giving up five runs (four earned) on nine hits, with two walks and one strikeout. He threw 81 pitches (48 strikes).

"It obviously wasn't the way I drew it up," Allard said, "but it's a surreal moment and one I'll never forget."

Besides making his Major League debut on the mound, Allard also came through in the box. Allard lined a single to right field in his first Major League at-bat in the second.

"It was a nice swing, huh?" Allard joked.

The 20-year-old southpaw also laid down a pair of sacrifice bunts before his night ended.

And though it was a night of firsts for Allard, it will be short-lived as Snitker confirmed prior to the game that Allard will be sent back down to Triple-A.

According to Snitker, the Braves will likely use a six-man rotation moving forward -- without actually carrying six starting pitchers at one time or another -- with various prospects being called up to make spot starts. The Braves will employ this strategy during a span of playing 31 games in as many days.

From the get-go, Allard was aware of his short stay in the Majors.

"From what I know, tonight was just a one-time thing for now," Allard said. "I'll go back down [to Gwinnett] and make a few more starts."

However, by implementating a possible six-man rotation, the Braves could likely call upon Allard again, as well as fellow Triple-A starters Touki Toussaint and , to help out during the stretch. Allard could be called up in 10 days when he is again eligible to start.

Snitker concluded after Tuesday night's win that the use of Allard in over a week's time still "remains to be seen."

"We will have to see where we are at with the need," Snitker said. "We want him to stay regular and keep pitching because at any point and time we are going to need him again."