After record setting performance in his last start, Spencer Strider’s day got off to a tough start Wednesday. He walked Vimael Machin to begin the game before Seth Brown lined out to center for the first out. Strider then issued another free pass to Sean Murphy. Stephen Vogt followed with a double off the left center wall that scored Machin to give Oakland a 1-0 lead. Ramon Laureano then grounded out sharply to Dansby Swanson for the second out. Murphy scored on the play to make it 2-0. Strider issued yet another walk to Jonah Bride, but then struck out Cody Thomas to bring the inning to an end.
After not walking a batter in his last outing, Strider issued three in the first and needed 36 pitches to navigate the first. He came back out for the second and got a much-needed quick inning. He added two more strikeouts in the third.
While Strider struggled to start, Oakland lefty Ken Waldichuk held Atlanta’s offense in check over the first three innings. Travis d’Arnaud reached on an infield single in the second, but was left stranded. Waldichuk induced three more fly outs in the third including a deep fly by Ronald Acuña Jr. that Laureano ran down on the warning track.
The Braves finally got to Waldichuk in the fifth as he hit d’Arnaud with a pitch and then allowed a two-run shot to right center off the bat of Vaughn Grissom.
The Braves took the lead in the sixth. Waldichuk got Acuña to ground out for the first out, but then gave up a solo home run to Swanson to make it 3-2.
Strider settled in after the tough start and retired 15 straight before allowing a two-out single to Vogt in the sixth. He came back and struck out Laureano to leave Vogt stranded.
That would close the book on Strider who was impressive again allowing two hits, three walks and two runs to go along with nine strikeouts in six innings. He threw 103 pitches with 36 of those coming in the first inning.
The Braves added some much-needed insurance in the seventh. Grissom recorded his sixth hit of the series with a one-out single in the seventh. Michael Harris then extended his hitting streak to 14-straight games with a single of his own to left. Marcell Ozuna followed with a single to left that scored Grissom to make it 4-2. Robbie Grossman followed with a two-run double to the gap in right center to make it 6-2.
After another pitching change, Acuña greeted Norge Ruiz with an opposite field single to score Grossman and make it 7-2.
Collin McHugh issued a leadoff walk to Jonah Bride, but then struck out the next three batters he faced in the seventh. Tyler Matzek allowed a solo home run to Seth Brown to make it 7-3, but nothing else in the eighth. Raisel Iglesias retired the side in order in the ninth to end the game.
With the win, Atlanta completes the two-game sweep and goes a perfect 4-0 against Oakland. They are 86-51 on the season and keep the pressure on the Mets who are in Pittsburgh for a doubleheader Wednesday. Atlanta will enjoy an off day Thursday before heading up to Seattle to begin a three-game series against the Mariners.