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Braves avoid sweep with 4-2 win in Oakland

Ozzie Albies homered and the bullpen did its job.

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

Ozzie Albies homered, while Jared Shuster turned in a good performance to help the Atlanta Braves to a 4-2 win over the Oakland Athletics.

Jared Shuster found himself in trouble early as Esteury Ruiz reached on an error by Orlando Arcia. Ruiz then stole second before Brent Rooker popped out. Shuster then picked off Ruiz at second, but walked Ryan Noda. He then got Ramon Laureano to end the inning.

Oakland pitching retired 21-straight hitters dating back to Tuesday’s game before Arcia singled with one out in the third. However, the Braves couldn’t do anything with it as Michael Harris and Ronald Acuña Jr. flew out to end the inning.

Shuster found himself in another jam in the third as he walked Jace Peterson to start the inning. Nick Allen then dropped down a sacrifice bunt that Matt Olson fielded, but no one covered first base. Ruiz then popped up another bunt for the first out and Shuster struck out Rooker looking. Noda then grounded out to first to end the inning.

Shuster pitched around another leadoff walk in the fourth and the Braves finally got on the board in the fifth. Eddie Rosario singled with one out and then came all the way around to score on a two-run home run by Ozzie Albies.

Arcia followed the homer with another single. Harris struck out for the second out before Acuña hit a ground rule double to center to put runners at second and third. The A’s then opted to walk Olson intentionally to load the bases. The strategy wouldn’t pay off though as Kaprielian hit Austin Riley to force in a run. Kaprielian was then replaced by former Braves reliever Richard Lovelady, who got Travis d’Arnaud to pop out to end the inning.

Shuster needed just seven pitches to retire the side in the fifth. He retired Ruiz on the first pitch of the sixth before Rooker lined a double to right center. Shuster then jumped ahead of Noda 0-2, but then walked him. Laureano followed with a single to left that scored Rooker to make it 3-1. That would be it for Shuster, who was replaced by Jesse Chavez. Carlos Perez grounded out to Arcia for the second out, but Noda scored on the play to make it 3-2. Chavez then got pinch hitter Seth Brown to fly out on nice running grab by Acuña in right to preserve the lead.

Shuster pitched well again allowing three hits and two runs over 5 1/3 innings. Four walks got him in trouble, but he was otherwise economical throwing just 68 pitches.

Arcia singled again to start the seventh off new A’s pitcher Ken Waldichuk. Harris followed with a walk to put runners at first and second. Acuña then singled to right to score Arcia to push the lead back to 4-2.

A.J. Minter struck out Nick Allen to complete a 1-2-3 seventh. Nick Anderson struck out Noda to finish off a perfect eighth. Raisel Iglesias bounced back from a rough outing Tuesday by retiring the side in order in the ninth to seal the win.

With the win, Atlanta moves back to 10 games over .500 at 33-23. They will enjoy an off day Thursday before beginning a three-game series in Arizona Friday.

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