The Braves hit three solo homers tonight, and the power display at the plate combined with a fantastic outing on the mound from Kyle Wright led to a 3-2 win over the Oakland Athletics — Atlanta’s sixth win in a row.
The night got off to a pretty inauspicious for Kyle Wright, as the first three batters for Oakland all reached base. A wild pitch moved the first two batters into scoring position before Ramón Laureano cashed in both Tony Kemp and Elvis Andrus to make it 2-0 in favor of the A’s. Kyle Wright settled in with a pop out and a double play to end the first inning, and that ended up being by far the most trouble he found himself in all night.
So Ronald Acuña Jr. came to the plate to lead off things for the Braves while his team was down by two runs. They were only down by one by the time Acuña was done, as he pulverized the first pitch he got from Cole Irvin and sent it soaring into the area by the artificial forest in center field. That was Acuña’s second home run in as many plate appearances and it was clear that the phenom was getting hot. As it turned out, he wasn’t done and we didn’t have to wait much longer for the next bomb.
.@TheTraeYoung told y'all this would happen @ronaldacunajr24 | #ForTheA pic.twitter.com/YzggrHNbgP— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) June 7, 2022
The score remained the same until the third inning, which is when Ronnie returned to the plate. This time, Acuña waited until Irvin’s third pitch of the at-bat to send the ball to the moon. Acuña’s first homer went 435 feet — this one went soaring for 464 feet. The first time saw Acuña fulfill a celebration promise he made to Atlanta Hawks star Trae Young. The second time, there was no need for it. The dinger did all the talking here.
It'd been about a half hour since Ronnie last hit a homer so he was due.#ForTheA pic.twitter.com/h8xJnwbnyD— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) June 8, 2022
Acuña’s power surge tied the game at two runs a piece and from that point forward, it was the Kyle Wright show. Wright only allowed one baserunner from the third inning onwards, and that was a single from Chad Pinder. Once that happened, Kyle Wright became untouchable. He eventually made it all the way through the eighth inning, as he racked up seven strikeouts over the course of his start and also cut down the walks to zero. This was quite easily Wright’s best performance of the year, which is saying something because he’s been putting in some very good starts this season. Outside of the shaky first inning, Wright did exactly what he needed to do against an opposing offense that was not exactly imposing.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t also mention the role that the defense played in this one. Michael Harris II played a big role in this one, as he was constantly up for making some really tough catches in center field tonight. Harris’ best catch of the night was in the fifth inning, which is when he made a fantastic running catch on a line drive to right-center field. You know it was good when noted defensive maestro Andruw Jones was impressed with the defensive display.
.@MoneyyyMikeee makes an @andruwjones25 style catch...with @andruwjones25 watching!#ForTheA pic.twitter.com/tfp0V9YLcz— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) June 8, 2022
Despite Acuña’s two moonshots and an excellent outing from Kyle Wright, this game was still tied at two runs apiece until the seventh inning. That was when Guillermo Heredia led off the bottom half of that frame against A’s reliever Lou Trivino by doing his best Ronald Acuña Jr. impersonation. Guillermo lifted off on the first pitch he got from Trivino and hit it off the scoreboard below the Hank Aaron Terrace to put the Braves in the lead for the first time tonight.
Nada humble ⚔️#ForTheA pic.twitter.com/Vfgf6x33nl— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) June 8, 2022
Following Kyle Wright finishing off his incredible night on the mound, Kenley Jansen got the ball for the ninth inning and the veteran closer made no mistakes. He got two fly ball outs and a strikeout to end the game and clinch Atlanta’s sixth win in a row. All of a sudden, the Braves are now two games over .500 and playing some really good baseball at the moment.
The series will come to a close tomorrow, and Ian Anderson will be getting the ball against MLB debutant Jared Koenig. A six-game winning streak is good and all, but a seven-game winning streak is even better and the Braves should have a decent shot at making that happen. With that being said, they have Ronald Acuña Jr., Kyle Wright, and Guillermo Heredia to thank for making it six wins in a row.