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Braves’ offense comes alive in 9-4 win over Blue Jays

Braves salvage a series split in Toronto

MLB: Atlanta Braves at Toronto Blue Jays Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Braves’ offense came alive Wednesday night in an 9-4 win over the Toronto Blue Jays.

After three straight games where they were unable to generate much offense, the Braves broke out in a big way in the second inning against Toronto starter Jacob Waguespack. Matt Joyce got things started with a solo homer to right to put Atlanta up 1-0. Adeiny Hechavarria then reached on an error and moved up to second base on a walk by Francisco Cervelli. Rafael Ortega followed with a double to right that scored Hechavarria to increase the lead to 2-0.

Cervelli would pull up at third on the play and would leave the game with what was called a cramp in his quad. The Braves weren’t finished however. After a strikeout by Billy Hamilton, Ronald Acuña Jr. delivered a two-run double to left to make it 4-0. Ozzie Albies then flew out for the second out of the inning before Freddie Freeman plated Acuña with a double to left to make it 5-0.

Mike Foltynewicz was coming off of one of his best outings of the season in his last start in New York but he wasn’t sharp in this one. Despite allowing at least one base runner in every inning, Folty was able to blank Toronto through the first three innings. The Blue Jays finally broke through in the fourth.

Brandon Drury brought home Justin Smoak with a groundout to cut the lead to 5-1. Teoscar Hernandez later scored on a passed ball by catcher Tyler Flowers to make it 5-2. Foltynewicz was able to escape that inning with no further damage.

The Blue Jays struck again in the fifth as Cavan Biggio led off the inning with a double and came around to score on a two-out double by Randal Grichuk. Folty would then issue a walk to Smoak and would exit the game in favor of Luke Jackson with runners on the corners and two outs. Jackson came on and struck out Hernandez to end the threat.

Foltynewicz labored his way through 4 2/3 innings allowing eight hits and three runs although only two were earned. He threw 98 pitches with 60 going for strikes.

A run scoring single by Vladimir Guerrero Jr. off of Jackson in the sixth cut Atlanta’s lead to 5-4 but the Braves would answer back in the seventh.

Atlanta quickly loaded the bases in the frame with walks to Albies and Josh Donaldson sandwiched around a hit batsman to Freeman. Joyce then struck again with an RBI single to plate Albies to make it 6-4. Hechavarria followed and dumped a single into left that would score Freeman and Donaldson to make it 8-4.

Freeman would further extend the lead in the ninth with his 36th home run of the season on a deep fly ball to center.

Atlanta’s bullpen did the job in relief of Foltynewicz allowing just two hits and one run over the final 4 1/3 innings. Chris Martin, Shane Greene and Jerry Blevins recorded the final nine outs in order.

Joyce finished with three hits while Freeman, Flowers and Ortega all recorded two each. Guerrero finished with two hits for Toronto.

The Braves wrap up their road trip with a 4-2 record and will maintain their 5.5 game lead over the Washington Nationals in the NL East. They will enjoy an off day on Thursday before beginning a nine-game homestand with a three-game series against the Chicago White Sox.

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