ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Atlanta Braves fans’ concerns about Mike Foltynewicz ramped up after Monday night’s outing.
The 2018 All-Star struggled mightily, lacked velocity and was hammered early by the Tampa Bay Rays in a 14-5 loss. After the game, the Braves designated Foltynewicz for assignment, and called up Chad Sobotka to the bullpen, a surprising move so early in the season, albeit a 60-game version of a season.
“We’re not in a position, in this shortened season, to wait for something to happen,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said after Monday’s loss.
Foltynewicz put the Braves in an early hole by giving up six earned runs in 3 1/3 innings. The right-hander struck out three, walked four and gave up four hits.
His issues kick-started an eight-run fourth inning that put Atlanta in a 10-1 hole.
Touki Toussaint followed and struggled just as much, allowing six earned runs in 2 2/3 innings. He struck out six, walked one and gave up five hits.
Meanwhile, Tampa Bay struck out a club-record 19 Braves, including nine by starter Tyler Glasnow. He allowed only one hit — a solo home run by Dansby Swanson — in his four innings.
Matt Adams provided the other positive for the Braves with a three-run homer in the sixth inning.
Hunter Renfroe homered twice to lead the Rays, who host the Braves again Tuesday in the finale of a two-game series. The teams play again Wednesday in Atlanta for the Braves’ home opener.