Atlanta Braves prospect Vaughn Grissom homers, ‘seemed like a kid on the playground’ in debut

BOSTON — Atlanta Braves top contender Vaughn Grissom hit Lansdowne Street on his major league debut, and Marcell Ozuna hit a three-run homer Wednesday night to secure an 8-4 win over the Boston Red Sox to highlight.

Called up by Double-A earlier in the day, 21-year-old Grissom hit the first pitch he saw in the seventh inning over the Green Monster and the seats above and onto the street below for his first big league hit . He tossed his bat aside before flying around base, clapped his hands as he rounded third base and came home to be congratulated by Michael Harris II, who had singled ahead of him.

“I didn’t feel anything. I didn’t feel anything,” Grissom said of his home run during his on-field interview after the game at Bally Sports South. “I literally scored and passed out until I saw my first base coach and just started laughing.”

A healthy number of Braves fans in the crowd of 35,406 gave Grissom a big cheer. Grissom scored in the ninth game, stealing second place and scoring as Atlanta ended a two-game sweep.

“I’m super shocked. what a moment I didn’t know what else to think but ‘wow’,” Grissom said.

Grissom hit .324 this season with 14 home runs, 67 RBIs and 27 stolen bases in single- and double-A. He started at second base and fought for Atlanta in ninth place. With family and friends in the stands at Fenway Park, he hit a fielder’s choice in the third inning, struck in the fifth and came out with an on and an out in the seventh when he scored to make it 5-1.

“I can’t even put it into words,” he said. “Up to this point, we all really got me here. For them, being here and seeing it was one of the best things in my life.”

Grissom added a single in the ninth. Since the home run ball was likely lost, the Braves made sure to request it as a souvenir. He later scored on Dansby Swanson’s single to make it 8-4.

“He did everything,” said Braves manager Brian Snitker. “He did great. Nothing fazed him. That power is real.”

Harris, who was called up in May, is also a 21-year-old prospect. He entered Wednesday’s game and hit .288 with 10 homers, 34 RBIs and 12 stolen bases while supporting defense in midfield. Harris advanced to eighth in the order in the series finale, a showcase for Atlanta’s organizational depth.

“It was like a ‘we did it’ moment, I think,” Grissom said. “Like a ‘we did it’ feeling.”

Kyle Wright (14-5) allowed a run to a hit and a walk in six innings and hit five for a 10th win in 12 decisions. The reigning World Series champion, who lost five of six games before arriving in Boston, beat the Red Sox 9-7 in 11 innings on Tuesday.

Red Sox trade deadline pickup Tommy Pham homed for the third straight game and hit a three-run shot in the seventh to turn a 5-1 deficit into a one-run game. But the Braves scored two more in game eight, on Eddie Rosario’s double and Ozuna’s sacrificial fly.

Nick Pivetta (8-9) pitched six innings and allowed three runs – Ozuna’s homer – on five hits and two walks while striking five. The bottom-placed Red Sox lost their fourth straight game and their sixth of seven.

However, the night belonged to Grissom, who may have sensed, but certainly not shown, the nervousness of a major league stage.

“He just seemed like a kid on the playground and was just having fun,” Snitker said. “It’s real. The guy just likes to play baseball.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/34382524/atlanta-braves-prospect-vaughn-grissom-homers-seemed-kid-playground-debut Atlanta Braves prospect Vaughn Grissom homers, ‘seemed like a kid on the playground’ in debut

Emma Bowman

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