ATLANTA (AP) — Michael Soroka’s third promotion to Atlanta this season in his comeback from two Achilles tendon injuries has led to more health concerns for the right-hander.
Tyler O’Neill and Nolan Gorman hit two-run homers to spoil Soroka’s return to Atlanta and the St. Louis Cardinals held on to beat the Braves 10-6 on Tuesday night.
Braves manager Brian Snitker said Soroka (2-2) is headed to the injured list after experiencing numbers in his fingers. Soroka, who was recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett for the start, lasted only three innings and allowed five runs on four hits, including the two homers.
Snitker said he asked Soroka about the numbness and the right-hander said he “didn’t really know when it started.”
Added Snitker: “I think it’s probably a big deal.”
Soroka, who was an All-Star in 2019 and Atlanta’s opening day starter in 2020, has spent most of this season in the minors as he tries to make a comeback from Achilles tendon injuries in 2020 and 2021.
Though he issued only one walk in his abbreviated start, Soroka’s control issues were a problem.
“Overall, he just didn’t command the strike zone real good,” Snitker said.
Soroka, who was being evaluated after the game, wasn’t available for comment.
O’Neill’s homer to left field drove in Jordan Walker in the second inning. Gorman added a 426-foot blast off Soroka in the third and a ninth-inning homer, his 26th, off Michael Tonkin.
The major league-leading Braves, coming off an 8-2 road trip that included three wins in four games against the Los Angeles Dodgers, couldn’t keep pace with the Cardinals, who are last in the NL Central. St. Louis led 9-1. The Braves cut the deficit to 9-6 before Gorman’s second homer.
Walker, born in nearby Stone Mountain, greeted Soroka’s replacement, Collin McHugh, with a homer to center field to open the fourth. Walker drove in two runs with three hits. O’Neill also had three hits.
Atlanta’s Ozzie Albies hit a first-inning homer off Miles Mikolas, who also gave up back-to-back, sixth-inning blasts to Austin Riley and Matt Olson.
The three solo homers were the only runs allowed by Mikolas (7-10) in 6 2/3 innings.
“You don’t want to give a couple up, but if you can keep guys off the bases when you give up those big swings, that helps,” Mikolas said.
Marcell Ozuna added another solo shot off Giovanny Gallegos in the eighth. Pinch-hitter Orlando Arcia added a run-scoring double off Gallegos in the eighth.
Each team hit four homers. It matched the most allowed by Braves pitchers this season.
The Braves, who swept three games in St. Louis April 3-5, need one win over the Cardinals this week to win their fifth straight season series between the teams.
FAN ON THE FIELD
A young fan was tackled by security officers after running onto the field with Harris at the plate in the eighth. The fan ran from right field toward left field before losing his footing and then being forcefully taken to the ground and escorted off the field.
DEFENSIVE DOUBLE HELPING
Tommy Edman’s diving catch of Nicky Lopez’s sinking liner ended Atlanta’s second following singles by Eddie Rosario and Michael Harris II. Edman opened the inning with a leaping catch of Marcell Ozuna’s drive at the wall in center field.
“I’ve been telling the guys all year, you give me 10 runs and Gold Glove defense, I’m not going to lose,” Mikolas said with a smile.
Harris made a leaping catch at the wall in center field to take a possible homer away from Lars Nootbaar in the fifth.
Cardinals: LHP Matthew Liberatore (lower back) was activated from the 15-day injured list after missing two weeks. Liberatore will pitch out of the bullpen after LHP JoJo Romero (left knee) was placed on the 15-day IL, retroactive to Sept. 2. … IF José Fermín was recalled from Triple-A Memphis and IF Taylor Motter was designated for assignment.
Braves: IF Ehire Adrianza (right elbow inflammation) began a rehab assignment with Class-A Rome. … RHP Ben Heller was optioned to Triple-A Gwinnett.
Braves RHP Spencer Strider, a NL Cy Young Award contender, will look for his 17th win when Atlanta faces Cardinals RHP Dakota Hudson on Wednesday night. Strider is 1-0 with a 0.75 ERA and has 19 strikeouts in 12 innings in two career starts against St. Louis.