It can’t be said enough - as Ozzie Albies goes, so goes the Braves offense.
After scuffling for the better part of the last month, Albies logged his fourth consecutive multi-hit game, with two doubles and the decisive walk-off home run against the Reds in the bottom of the 11th. The Braves took a tense one, 5-4. With losses by the Phillies and Nationals, but the Braves’ division lead is now back to 3½ games.
Albies has now logged 12 hits over his last 22 at-bats.
Mike Foltynewicz continued his impressive run of starts, only allowing one earned run over five innings of work - this was the 14th time in 15 starts he has allowed less than two earned runs.
Nick Markakis logged his 100th and 101st hits of the season, becoming the first NL player to do so in 2018.
The game got off to a late start, as inclement weather pushed the first pitch back to 8:55 pm.
Tyler Mahle walked Ender Inciarte to start the Braves half of the first, and he immediately came around to score on Albies’ first double to right. Two batters later, Ozzie scurried home on a Kurt Suzuki flyout to stake the Braves to a 2-0 lead.
Though he took a no-hit bid into the fifth inning, Folty’s two-week layoff lent itself to some understandable rust. He wrestled with his command, often overthrowing his fastball and escalating his pitch count. The no-hitter was promptly halted when Scott Schebler mashed a two-out fastball 426 feet into The Chophouse, bringing the Reds within one run.
The Braves stretched the lead back to 2 in the 5th, after Markakis grounded into a double play with the bases loaded.
After 91 pitches (54 strikes) from Folty, Snitker called upon Lucas Sims to start the 6th inning. Sims yielded three straight singles to Joey Votto, Scooter Gennett, and Eugenio Suarez, then a walk to Jesse Winker brought the score to 3-2. An RBI groundout from pinch hitter Adam Duvall brought Gennett home to tie the game at 3.
Cincinnati then small-balled their way to a 4-3 lead in the top of the 7th, with a Scott Schebler double, Tucker Barnhart bunt, and RBI groundout from Votto. The Braves took the lead back in the bottom of the inning, after a Votto error on a hot shot from Freddie Freeman. After David Hernandez relieved Kyle Crockett, a four-pitch walk to Kurt Suzuki was followed by an RBI double from Danny Santana that brought the score back even at 4.
After both bullpens managed to fend off any further offense during regulation, Jesse Biddle (10th) and Luke Jackson (11th) posted consecutive scoreless innings.
As Dylan Floro came on to pitch the bottom of the 11th, Albies ambushed the first pitch and nudged it into the grass just beyond the bricks in right center, giving the Braves a 5-4 win. This was the Braves’ seventh walk-off win of the season, and only their second win in nine extra inning games.
The Braves will welcome the Reds back to SunTrust Park tomorrow for another 7:35pm first pitch.