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Folty falters during five-run frame vs. Brewers

MLB.com @mlbbowman

MILWAUKEE -- Mike Foltynewicz did not destroy what remains a strong All-Star resume. But the Braves right-hander's pride was dented as he experienced some two-strike struggles during a five-run third inning that provided the Brewers a 5-4 win on Friday night at Miller Park.

"Folty threw five great innings and just had that one inning," Braves shortstop Dansby Swanson said. "You don't want to beat a dead horse, but that's just how baseball goes. It's a shame that happened tonight to us. But we'll come back tomorrow and we'll do better."

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MILWAUKEE -- Mike Foltynewicz did not destroy what remains a strong All-Star resume. But the Braves right-hander's pride was dented as he experienced some two-strike struggles during a five-run third inning that provided the Brewers a 5-4 win on Friday night at Miller Park.

"Folty threw five great innings and just had that one inning," Braves shortstop Dansby Swanson said. "You don't want to beat a dead horse, but that's just how baseball goes. It's a shame that happened tonight to us. But we'll come back tomorrow and we'll do better."

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Now that the Braves have lost a season-high four in a row during a road trip that began with four consecutive wins, they find themselves without sole possession of the National League East for the first time since June 11 as the Phillies have moved into a tie for the division lead. Foltynewicz allowed five earned runs over six innings. He retired 15 of the 16 batters faced outside the third inning, but still had to face the reality that for just the second time in 17 starts, he allowed more than two earned runs. The other instance occurred on May 4, when the Giants scored six runs in the second before he blanked them over his other four innings.

"I think I got a little worked up," Foltynewicz said. "My whole family is here, and I just wanted to do so well for them. After that inning, I just calmed down a little more and got back to zoning the ball down and throwing my offspeed pitches for strikes."

Still, Foltynewicz has made a strong All-Star bid with his 2.37 ERA, which would have ranked the NL's fifth-best entering Friday. But he admits he might have allowed himself to get worked up as things began to unravel against the Brewers during the decisive third inning.

Foltynewicz entered this start having allowed a .133 (4-for-30) batting average on 0-2 pitches. Opponents had hit .154 (30-for-195) against him on two-strike pitches. But those numbers betrayed him as he gained an 0-2 pitch against five of the nine batters faced in the third. Manny Pina's leadoff single came against an inside 0-2 fastball. Tyler Saladino followed by teeing off on an elevated 0-2 slider that landed in the left-field seats for a two-run homer.

After Eric Thames recorded a one-out single on a 1-2, 99.1-mph fastball, Foltynewicz hit Christian Yelich in the right leg with an 0-2 slider. This set the stage for Aguilar, who tattooed a 1-1 fastball deep into the left-field seats for a three-run homer.

Within a span of five batters, Foltynewicz surrendered as many home runs as he had allowed over his past 10 starts combined. But providing further indication of how much he has matured over the past year, he didn't allow the quick eruption to further impact him as the Braves received at least six innings from a starter for just the fifth time in their past 13 games.

"He threw the ball well enough that if we're ahead in that game, he probably keeps pitching," Braves manager Brian Snitker said. "It's just the one inning."

MOMENT THAT MATTERED
Brewers reliever Jacob Barnes did not retire any of the five batters he faced during Atlanta's three-run seventh inning. Ronald Acuna Jr. tweaked his left groin and was forced to exit after recording an RBI infield single. Swanson followed with a two-run single that cut the Braves' deficit to one run. But Dan Jennings entered with runners at second and third and prevented further damage. The Brewers' lefty struck out Danny Santana and induced consecutive groundouts from Inciarte and Albies.

Video: ATL@MIL: Jennings retires Albies to end jam in 7th

"We were just a productive out away from tying the game," Snitker said. "We didn't even need a hit. We just needed an out. We just couldn't do it."

SOUND SMART
Through 87 games, Ozzie Albies joins Hank Aaron and Darrell Evans as the only players in Braves history to tally 50 extra-base hits before the All-Star break. Aaron needed just 70 games to reach this total in 1959 and Evans reached this mark in the 100th game of the '73 season.

Video: ATL@MIL: Albies gets 50th XBH, Ender scores on error

MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
Asked if he thought the right camera angle might have provided a different result, Snitker said he felt he saw enough to believe Swanson was safe when he attempted to steal second base with one out in the ninth.

But when the Braves challenged the play, the replay officials did not see enough to overturn the call.

Video: ATL@MIL: Pina catches Swanson stealing, call stands

"Honestly, I just felt and knew I was safe even from the jump I got," Swanson said. "I was out there talking to [Brewers shortstop Jonathan Villar] and saying if I'm out, then that was one heck of a throw. It is what it is. I wish it would have gone our way, but it didn't. There's nothing you can do in retrospect."

UP NEXT
Braves right-hander Anibal Sanchez will take the mound when the Braves and Brewers resume their four-game series Saturday at 4:10 p.m ET. Sanchez has provided stability while pitching into the sixth inning during four of his past six starts. He has a 2.83 ERA since the start of June. Milwaukee will counter with Aaron Wilkerson.

Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001.

Atlanta Braves, Mike Foltynewicz