Adam Duvall hit a massive home run in an equally-massive fifth inning for the Braves, as a seven-run explosion in that inning helped push Atlanta to an 11-4 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The first flashpoint of this game occurred in the third inning, which is when both teams took their first cracks at the scoreboard in this one. In the top half of the frame, the Braves came through with some timely hitting with two outs. Freddie Freeman gave the inning some life with a single, then Ozzie Albies followed that up with a double and it all culminated with Austin Riley hitting a double of his own to bring in both Albies and Freeman to put Atlanta up 2-0. The Braves were done scoring after that, but Arizona had a quick response in store.
Ildemaro Vargas coaxed the dreaded leadoff walk out of Huascar Ynoa to start off Arizona’s half of the third and sure enough, the leadoff walk eventually came back to haunt Ynoa. After Josh Rojas hit a one-out single, Ketel Marte hit a double to bring the two baserunners, tying the game in the process. Fortunately for the Braves, Marte got greedy and was thrown out at third trying to turn it into a triple and it’s a really, really good thing that that happened because Daulton Varsho followed that up with a triple. So Huascar Ynoa still had an opportunity to get out of the inning with the game still tied.
Unfortunately, that just wasn’t in the cards for this particular inning. Ynoa threw a slider that slid all the way past William Contreras’s glove and to the backstop to bring in Varsho anyways. The Diamondbacks ended the inning up 3-2 and it really felt like this was destined to be another tense and nervy night at the ballpark for the Braves.
Then the fifth inning happened and things shifted dramatically in favor of the Braves by the time they were finished. It was almost as if the Braves lineup had collectively compiled all the data they needed on Humberto Mejia over his first two times through the order and applied that data towards absolutely demolishing Mejia on the third time through. The first seven batters in Atlanta’s lineup all reached safely and did so in order.
This included a game-tying double from Freddie, a go-ahead single from Ozzie, Austin Riley’s third double of the game to give the Braves some breathing room, and then an utterly galactic moonshot from Adam Duvall to break the inning wide open. Only a strikeout from William Contreras was able to even keep the Braves from moving the line along unabated. By the time Contreras had struck out, there had been a new pitcher in the game — and poor Taylor Widener was the one who was welcomed to the game by Duvall.
Soler added on a run following a forceout and then Freddie Freeman singled in the seventh run of the inning and the ninth run of the game for the Braves before Ozzie Albies took a contentiously called third strike to end the inning right then and there. What had been a frustrating night for the Braves up until that point suddenly turned into a very comfortable situation for Atlanta, as they had slugged their way into a very solid six-run lead.
From then on, it was basically academic. It was a little bit concerning to see Richard Rodriguez give up his fifth home run in as many appearances since September 8, but the Braves ended up getting that run back and then some. Other than that home run, that was all the Diamondbacks would get once everything was said and done.
Meanwhile, the Braves added onto that healthy tally in the top of the ninth inning. It was encouraging to see William Contreras get in on tonight’s hit parade, as he hit a double in the seventh inning and then added a single in the ninth. Thanks to a pinch-hit single from Guillermo Heredia and a wild pitch from Brett de Geus, he was able to cross home plate for the first time since June 18. Hopefully this is the start of Contreras doing better at the major league level. Additionally, Eddie Rosario continued what’s been a really lovely two games for him, as he apparently “barely managed to keep this one fair” for a homer before Contreras had his fun.
The game ended 11-4 in favor of Atlanta, and this was a productive night for the Braves, indeed. Right as things were getting started at Chase Field, the Baltimore Orioles put the finishing touches on a 2-0 shutout victory over the Philadelphia Phillies. It was imperative that the Braves took advantage that the gift the O’s gave them tonight and thanks to that huge fifth inning, they were able to do so.
The Braves are now three games up on the Phillies and will be looking to continue taking advantage of any further slip-ups on Philadelphia's part going forward. The Braves got the win and they especially needed an emphatic win like this one — one that will hopefully wake up the bats and get them going as they enter the final stage of the season.