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Braves win home run derby against Cincinnati 7-6

The Braves hit enough homers with enough people on base to overcome the four homers from the Reds

Syndication: The Enquirer Albert Cesare/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK

After a slugfest of a loss Friday, the Braves were looking to level the series and snap the Reds’ winning streak behind Jared Shuster. It was a pitching matchup that screamed “high-scoring game”.

The first inning saw a single baserunner for each team but no runs allowed, as Ozzie reached on catchers’ interference and Kevin Newman led off the Reds’ half with a single. The second inning saw a little more of what we expected, however, as Travis d’Arnaud led off the top of the inning with a bit of a shallow solo homer, followed by an Eddie Rosario single that saw him stranded. Shuster managed a scoreless inning of contact in the second and handed it back over to the Braves’ offense in the third inning, when we really started to get the game we had expected. Ozzie Albies liked what he saw from d’Arnaud in the previous inning and did the same, as he led off the inning with another homer, this one hit much more squarely at 106.5 MPH off the bat and 425 estimated feet travelled.

Austin got unlucky to line out for the first out, hitting a ball 110.4 MPH with a .930 xBA, requiring a great play in the outfield. Matt Olson doubled with one out and scored on a bloop Ozuna single. D’Arnaud singled again, but no further runs were scored in the Braves’ third. The Reds’ led off the home third with a bunt single before Shuster was able to record two outs via strikeout and flyout. Unfortunately, Matt McLain hit a homer of his own to cut the lead to one before Shuster was able to record the final out.

The Braves’ bats were not fooled by Ashcraft in the fourth, as the first five batters all hit balls at 97 MPH or harder. Unfortunately, the first two of those were groundouts from Harris and Acuna. Ozzie got a single off of his, however, and stole second before Austin hit his second ball of over 110 MPH of the day, this time for an RBI double. Matt Olson finally found the launch angle that the others couldn’t, hitting his third homer run of the series to left center field landing just on top of the fence at 104.8 on a ball well below the strike zone.

Elly De La Cruz led off the home fourth with a soft single and Spencer Steer continued the trend of the series by hitting another homer, cutting the lead down to 2 at 6-4 Braves. The Reds managed two more singles in the inning to chase Jared Shuster in favor of Michael Tonkin, who escaped the inning.

Travis d’Arnaud chased Ashcraft shortly after, leading off the top of the fifth with a hard hit single. This move worked out for Cincy, as Eddie struck out and Arcia grounded into a double-play. Tonkin got the fifth as well and worked around a De La Cruz walk for a scoreless inning with two strikeouts. After a scoreless sixth from the Braves’ offense, Tonkin came back out for the sixth. He walked Senzel but managed a scoreless inning with an assist from a play where Ronald perhaps should have caught the ball but instead scraped it off the ground just barely off the bounce and threw Senzel out at second.

Ozuna added some insurance with a one out short porch 351 foot solos homer in the seventh. De La Cruz fouled a ball off his knee and was in some significant pain in the bottom of the inning, but remained in the game and lined out to end the home seventh. Ronald hit a one out single in the eighth for his first hit of the game, but was thrown out at home on a play where Austin should have been out at first, but De La Cruz bobbled the ball on the transition and Ronald kept running, expecting the throw to first. AJ Minter shut down the Reds in the eighth.

Raisel Iglesias came in for the save and gave up a one out homer to Fraley and another one to Will Benson, allowing the Reds within one run, but struck out the other three batters and ultimately closed the game out with an Atlanta win.

Join us tomorrow for the rubber-match at 1:40 PM ET.

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