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Hector Olivera explodes as Braves snap skid with 7-2 win

Hey! The Braves won!

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Okay, maybe the Atlanta Braves aren't the worst team in the league just yet.

The Braves, who happened to enter the night with a 12-game losing streak, prevailed over the cellar-dwelling Philadelphia Phillies in Monday's series opener by a score of 7-2. That, of course, means that Atlanta maintains a "deficit" when compared to Philly in the race for the number one pick in the 2016 MLB Draft, and the margin has now grown to two games.

On the field, the majority of the damage was done early for the Braves. Freddie Freeman blasted a two-run home run in the first inning, plating Nick Markakis to give Atlanta a 2-0 lead, and that margin would grow to 5-1 after both Andrelton Simmons and Hector Olivera (!) contributed run-scoring doubles in the fourth inning.

From there, Williams Perez was able to limit Philadelphia's bats over a strong seven-inning outing. Perez allowed only six hits (and no walks) in those seven frames, and he struck out seven while allowing only two runs. Behind him, the bullpen did its job on this night as well, as the duo of Matt Marksberry and Arodys Vizcaino combined to hold the lead and preserve the win.

The aforementioned Hector Olivera wasn't done either, as the recently acquired third baseman went deep in the ninth inning. That blast capped a 2-for-5 day with four RBI for Olivera, and this performance was certainly becoming of what the Braves see in him for the future.

Winning on Monday night probably wasn't the best thing for the Atlanta Braves in the long term, but with Olivera going crazy and some positive "mojo" in the works, it wasn't the worst thing. These two teams will get back together on Tuesday night, and if the Braves can manage to drop the final two games at Citizens Bank Park, it will be all square in the race for "number one".

Stay tuned.

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