In a battle of aces, both Spencer Strider and Zac Gallen were at their best early. They were each doing what they do best, with Strider racking up countless swings and misses, while Gallen avoided the barrel as well as mixing in some whiffs of his own.
Through five innings, both pitchers were absolutely dominant, with Gallen not allowing a single baserunner and Strider struck out 12 D-backs in the first five frames. The only time either pitcher got into trouble was when Strider allowed a leadoff triple to Ketel Marte. However, he responded by striking out the side to eliminate the threat.
Spencer Strider's 7th, 8th and 9th Ks.— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) July 20, 2023
Thru 4. pic.twitter.com/5dP139LAyT
Strider struck out the side three times through six innings, where he was in cruise control. Gallen was also cruising with five perfect innings of his own. However, things changed quickly in the bottom of the sixth. With one out, Orlando Arcia smoked a hanging slider off of the left field foul pole to break the scoreless tie.
This would mark the end of a pitchers duel and the beginning of a slug fest. Michael Harris would follow up the home run with a double on a ball that ricocheted off of the second base bag. However, he would be picked off, a mistake that would prove costly after a Ronald Acuna got a base hit.
After six phenomenal innings, Spencer Strider unraveled in the seventh. After a walk and a hit batsman, Dominic Canzone hit the first home run of his career to make it a 3-1 D-backs lead. The next batter, Emmanuel Rivera would hit the ball to an almost identical spot to tack on another run. A dominant start fell apart for Strider in the blink of an eye. Ben Heller would come in and get the next three batters in order, but the Braves now had their work cut out for them.
It would take the Braves all of two batters to cut the deficit to one. After the rare Austin Riley triple, Matt Olson would hit a towering home run to give the Braves new life. It was one of those hot, humid days where the ball was flying out of Truist Park and Olson took advantage.
Matt Olson to the moon— Bally Sports: Braves (@BravesOnBally) July 20, 2023
31st home run of the season. pic.twitter.com/WYWbSES40Y
While some of the home runs were aided by the conditions at Truist Park, Corbin Carroll’s blast in the top of the eighth would have been a no doubter any day of the year. That blast to the chop house would give the D-backs a vital insurance run. Other than that mistake to Carroll, Kirby Yates was throwing the ball well, which resulted in two of the 15 strikeouts Braves pitchers collected.
With two outs and a man on second in the bottom of the eighth inning, the Braves struck. Ozzie Albies walked to keep the inning alive for the red hot Austin Riley who delivered with a three run home run to give the Braves the lead. It was Riley’s fourth home run of the series and the decisive one in the game.
Matt Olson would follow that up with another moonshot, giving him two home runs in two innings. The blast would give the Braves a massively important insurance run.
The ninth inning would not be without drama, with Raisel Iglesias getting himself into a first and second jam with only one out. However, he would retire the next two hitters to salvage a 7-5 win for the Braves. They avoided what would have been their first five game losing streak since 2017. However, the home stand as a whole did not go according to plan, with the Braves finishing at 2-4 in the run.
They will look to build on this comeback win tomorrow when they start the first game of a three game series in Milwaukee in a battle of first place teams. On Sunday they are lined up to face old friend Julio Teheran, which will be the first time he’s faced his old team. First pitch on Friday will be at 8:10 p.m. ET and can be seen on Bally Sports Southeast.