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Braves hold off Reds for 7-6 win

Olson clubs his 25th homer as Braves win 50th game of the season.

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

The Atlanta Braves picked up their 50th win of the season Sunday with a 7-6 victory over the Cincinnati Reds.

The Braves struck first as Michael Harris II tripled to start the third and later scored on a sacrifice fly by Ozzie Albies to give Atlanta a 1-0 lead.

The Braves weren’t finished thought as Austin Riley and Matt Olson worked back-to-back walks. Sean Murphy would then follow up with an RBI single that scored Riley to make it 2-0. Marcell Ozuna brought home another run with a single of his own to give Atlanta a 3-0 cushion.

Charlie Morton dealt with plenty of traffic over the first two innings and the Reds pushed across a run in the third. Matt McClain led off the frame with a double and came around to score on a double by Spencer Steer.

Cincinnati tied the game in the fourth as Tyler Stephenson and Nick Senzel singled to start the inning. TJ Friedl moved both runners into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt and then McClain struck again with a two-run double that tied the game.

Morton added two more strikeouts in a perfect fifth and the Braves’ offense got back to work in the sixth. Ronald Acuña Jr. reached on a one-out double and then swiped his 35th stolen base to move up to third. Riley walked and Matt Olson brought everyone home with his 25th home run of the season to put Atlanta back in front 6-3.

Morton wasn’t at his best, but was able to keep the Braves in the game. He would exit after the fifth having allowed seven hits, three walks and three runs. He struck out seven while throwing 103 pitches.

Kirby Yates tossed a scoreless sixth for Atlanta and then gave way to Nick Anderson in the seventh. Anderson was greeted by a solo home run from McClain that cut the lead to 6-4. Anderson came back and struck out Elly De La Cruz and then got Jake Fraley to line out to Ozzie Albies at short. Brian Snitker would then turn to A.J. Minter who struck out pinch-hitter Jonathan India to end the inning.

The Braves got that run back in the eighth as Albies walked and then stole second. Atlanta loaded the bases with one out as Riley was hit by a pitch and Murphy reached on a walk. Alexis Diaz then walked Marcell Ozuna to force in a run to push the lead back to 7-4.

Minter came back out for the eighth and walked Kevin Newman to begin the inning. Minter retired Tyler Stephenson and Nick Senzel, but then walked Friedl to put runners at first and second. He was replaced by Joe Jimenez who promptly served up a double to McLain that scored both runners to cut Atlanta’s lead to 7-6. Jimnez then got Spencer Steer to fly out deep to left to escape with the lead intact.

Raisel Iglesias entered in the ninth, but the Reds wouldn’t go away easily. Iglesias struck out De La Cruz to begin the inning, but allowed a single to Jake Fraley on a 1-2 pitch. India then blooped another single down the line in right to put runners at first and third with one out. He battled Newman to a 2-2 count and then got him to ground sharply to Riley who started a 5-4-3 double play that ended the game.

Atlanta takes two of three in the series and improves to 50-27 for the season. Acuña and Murphy finished the game with two hits each. Olson’s homer was his fourth of the series. McLain paced Cincinnati’s offense with four hits and drove in five runs.

The Braves will return to Truist Park Monday where they will begin a three-game series against the Minnesota Twins.

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