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Braves wallop Nationals 10-4 to win 13th consecutive game

Hey, they hit the Ronald Acuña Jr. number. Look at that!

MLB: Atlanta Braves at Washington Nationals Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Braves did indeed give Jackson Tetreault a very rude welcome to Major League Baseball, as Atlanta socked five dingers and put double-digits on the scoreboard for the fourth time during what is now a lengthy 13-game winning streak. Tonight’s game finished 10-4 for the red-hot Atlanta Braves.

After hitting five homers in nine games at Nationals Park last season, Dansby Swanson appears to be continuing his rampage in Washington’s ballpark. He hit one homer last night and the surging shortstop wasted no time in crushing another one. This time, Dansby sent it into the seats in left center field to put the Braves up by one and officially begin another barrage of offense for Atlanta. If you’re counting along at home, that’s now seven homers for Dansby in his past 11 games at Nationals Park — including a current five-game homer streak for Dansby at this ballpark.

The Braves then started the second inning with three straight singles but eventually managed to only get one run via a sacrifice fly from Orlando Arcia. That was not a sign of things to come, as the Braves soon made up for their missed opportunity by putting the proverbial boots to Jackson Tetreault in the very next frame. That was when Atlanta exploded for five runs — the first three came from Travis d’Arnaud just about keeping a fly ball in fair territory to make it 5-0 Braves. Apparently home runs are contagious in Atlanta’s dugout right now, because Marcell Ozuna then went up to the plate and sent the second pitch he saw soaring into the seats to make it 6-0. This feat meant that the Braves had hit back-to-back homers in three straight games for the first time in the expansion era (meaning since 1961).

An RBI double from Michael Harris II made it 7-0 for the Braves as they went into the third inning. Despite falling into a massive hole for the second night in a row, the Nationals were at least willing to fight their way out of it. The first three batters for the Nats all reached base safely, and then a lineout from Lane Thomas put Washington on the board. Max Fried wasn’t particularly sharp in this outing either, and the third inning was definitely proof of that as he tossed a wild pitch to bring in Washington’s second run of the inning. A sacrifice fly from César Hernández made it 7-3 and fortunately Fried was able to stop the bleeding right there. Atlanta still had a comfortable lead, but the Nationals had clawed to at least feasible striking distance with a lot of the game left to be played.

The score remained the same until the sixth inning, which is when the Braves decided that they liked hitting home runs in back-to-back fashion so much that they were willing to do it again. This time, the home run connection was formed by Orlando Arcia and Michael Harris II — Arcia led off the frame by getting all of a fastball from Andres Machado and then Harris followed him up with a no-doubter that saw the rookie actually flip the bat on his way to starting his home run trot. The two dingers made it 9-3 Atlanta and the Braves were back in firm control of this one.

This would be as far as Max Fried got in this one, as his tough night finally got away from him with two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning. A leadoff infield single (on a play where Fried came up short on actually getting the first base bag with his foot) came all the way around to score, as Luis García cashed in César Hernández to give the Nationals one of those runs back. That was the final batter that Fried would face, as the bullpen was given the task to finish off the rest of the game. This was a game that Fried would like to put behind him as quickly as possible, but it’s also a game where he was fortunate to have his teammates at the plate lifting him up in a huge way.

The game stayed 9-4 Braves as Darren O’Day and Jackson Stephens continued to keep the Nationals from inflicting any further damage. Atlanta wasn’t done inflicting damage to the scoreboard in Washington, though. Travis d’Arnaud singled to lead off the ninth and after a walk and making it to third on a fly ball, d’Arnaud eventually made it home on a wild pitch thrown by Francisco Perez. That made it 10-4 in favor of the Braves and Jackson Stephens made sure that the game ended that way as he retired the Nationals with no major problems to end the game.

While the Braves are indeed beating up on some bad teams, these are still Major League Baseball teams and the wins count just the same as they would if they were coming against some of the elite competition that this league has to offer. No matter how you do it or who you do it against, 13 straight wins is absolutely nothing to be sniffed at and here’s hoping that we’ll be talking about 14 straight wins by this time tomorrow night. Hopefully fans across Braves Country are enjoying this incredible run that the defending World Series champions are currently on.

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