Ian Anderson pitched an absolute gem and homers from Austin Riley, Ozzie Albies, Freddie Freeman and (sort of) Adam Duvall powered the Braves to a 9-2 victory over the Diamondbacks on Wednesday evening.
The Braves got on the board first, but the series of events that led to those runs was anything but ordinary. After a leadoff walk and a double from Freddie “Defending MVP” Freeman, Ozzie Albies drove the first run home on a sac fly to give the Braves a 1-0 lead. A single from Austin Riley would put runners on the corners for Adam Duvall who proceeded to hit a three-run homer.
Or at least so we thought.
Austin Riley, who was at first, was not sure if the ball had been caught (it was a close play on a ball that barely got out) and Duvall passed him on the basepaths as a result. Despite the fact that it was a homer, the rules are the rules and Duvall was awarded a single and called out while Riley and Freeman scored which made it a 3-0 Atlanta lead. It is an incredibly stupid rule in that situation, but it is what it is.
Ian Anderson would then take the mound in the bottom half of the inning for the Braves and a walk followed by an RBI double from Kole Calhoun would let the Diamondbacks get a run back, but no more damage was done.
In the top of the second, Austin must have felt bad for that run that ultimately didn’t cross the plate because of the weirdness in the first that he made sure to get it back with his 31st homer of the season to make it a 4-1 Braves lead.
Ian Anderson went into cruise control over the next few innings and the Braves would be the next to strike thanks to a little help from Ozzie Albies. In the fifth inning, Freddie Freeman would connect for a two-out double and then Ozzie hit home run #30 on the season to make it a 6-1 lead. That also put Albies at 100 RBI for the season which put him in some rare company.
Ozzie Albies also just became the first #Braves second baseman to record a 100 RBI season since Bobby Lowe did so for the 1897 Boston Beaneaters.— Grant McAuley (@grantmcauley) September 23, 2021
The youngest second baseman to ever post 30+ homers and 100+ RBI in a single season ⤵️ pic.twitter.com/9yoYd1bs7f— Bally Sports: Braves (@BravesOnBally) September 23, 2021
As for what Ian Anderson was up to, he was busy absolutely mowing down the Diamondbacks after that rocky first inning. Through the sixth inning, he had retired 14 in a row and looked like the pitcher that the Braves had hoped he would be coming back from injury. His final line for the evening was 7 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, and 8 K. Not too shabby. Not too shabby at all.
Things got more interesting than the Braves wanted in the eighth inning. Chris Martin got the call from the bullpen and he immediately gave up a solo homer to Christian Walker and by the time he exited, there were runners on first and third with two outs. Fortunately, Luke Jackson came in to face Ketel Marte and after an eight pitch battle, Luke emerged the victor with a swinging strike three.
The Braves would add some insurance in the top half of the ninth inning. After one out hits from William Contreras and Joc Pederson, Jorge Soler would get a run across with a sac fly. Freddie would then get in on the fun with a two-run homer, his 31st of the year, to stretch the lead to 9-2. Sean Newcomb would get the bottom of the ninth and after giving up a two-out single to David Peralta, he retired Christian Walker on a lineout to end the game.