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Braves slug past Oakland in wild 10-9 affair, NL East race now tied

A wild, wacky night in Oakland saw 19 runs and 22 hits.

Atlanta Braves v Oakland Athletics Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

When the Braves woke up the morning of June 1, they trailed in the NL East by 10 and a half games. The club was 23-27 following yet another brutal extra innings loss in Arizona.

On Tuesday night, the Braves slugged their way to a wacky 10-9 win over the Oakland Athletics. They are now tied with New York for the division lead for the first time all season.

The Braves got things started early with three runs in the first. After loading the bases, William Contreras hit a ball down the line for a sacrifice fly to plate the game’s first run. Vaughn Grissom, who had four hits on then night, then inside-outed a ball down the line to make it 3-0.

Matt Olson, making his first trip to Oakland since the trade, crushed a three-run homer to center to push the Braves’ lead to 6-1 in the third. Oakland would chip away with four runs of their own, including back-to-back homers, in the bottom half to make it 6-5 in a hurry. The ball was flying all night.

The offensive outburst continued in the middle innings. Atlanta found a little two-out magic in the fifth as Michael Harris singled home a run, followed by a two-run line drive from Marcell Ozuna to make it 9-5.

Kyle Wright’s struggles continued shortly after. He issued two walks and hit a batter, and he exited the game after 4+ innings. He was not sharp; it seemed the Oakland mound may have been bothering him as Kyle often stumbled on his delivery and had little command from the opening frame. Hopefully, he will bounce back in his next start in San Francisco.

Dylan Lee came into a bases-loaded, no-out situation and surrendered a game-tying three run homer after getting relatively painless two outs. It has not been a kind last month to Lee, who may be running out of gas after a lot of high leverage innings earlier this season. Jesse Chavez mercifully ended things and ended up tossing 1.1 scoreless. He has, once again, been a revelation.

The Braves took the lead right back in the top of the sixth on a sacrifice fly that nearly left the park. 10-9. That run would prove to be the difference.

The bullpen settled in nicely. Chavez calmed things down, and both Raisel Iglesias and AJ Minter worked clean innings. Kenley Jansen entered the 10-9 game in the ninth and looked like a new man, striking out two and getting an infield fly to end it.

In total, Chavez, Iglesias, Minter and Jansen tossed 4.1 innings of one-hit, no-run, no-walk, eight-strikeout ball. They, quite literally, saved the game.

It was, in short, a bizarre baseball game. Kyle Wright is a good pitcher, and Cole Irvin isn't exactly a bum. Oakland Coliseum is the 2nd most pitcher friendly yard in the league and has been for years. A batch of 2019-2021 golf/baseballs finding their way to the park is not out of the question. It has also been scorching hot in Northern California, which may have contributed to a Coors Field like atmosphere tonight. Who knows.

The Braves and Athletics will wrap up their brief two-game stint on Wednesday afternoon with Spencer Strider set to return following his historic 16-strikeout performance against Colorado last week. Oakland will counter with hard-throwing lefty Ken Waldichuk, who came over from New York in the Frankie Montas trade and made his big league debut last week. First pitch is set for 3:37 p.m. ET.

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