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Bryce Elder struggles as Braves fall to Rays, 10-4

Atlanta will head into the All-Star break with a 60-29 record.

Atlanta Braves v Tampa Bay Rays Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

The Atlanta Braves saw their winning streak come to an end Sunday in a 10-4 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays.

Bryce Elder’s afternoon got off to a tough start as Yandy Diaz led off with a single. Elder retired Wander Franco and Luke Raley, but a walk to Randy Arozarena would move Diaz into scoring position. Jonathan Aranda followed with a two-run double to give an early lead. Tampa Bay would keep things going as Isaac Paredes followed the double with a two-run homer which pushed the lead to 4-0. Elder needed 35 pitches, but finally got Jose Siri to ground into a force out to end the inning.

The Braves got on the board in the fourth. Ozzie Albies and Austin Riley hit back-to-back singles to put runners at first and third. Matt Olson then hit a bullet right at second baseman Aranda who started the 4-6-3 double play. Albies scored to make it 4-1. The inning wouldn’t end there for the Braves though as Travis d’Arnaud followed with a solo homer to left cutting the Rays lead down to 4-2.

The Rays answered right back though and a leadoff walk again proved costly to Elder. Taylor Wells walked and then advanced all the way to third on a ground out by Siri. Christian Bethancourt then delivered an RBI single to push the lead back to 5-2. Yandy Diaz then struck again with a two-run homer to dead center field, boosting the Rays lead to 7-2. That would end Elder’s afternoon as he was replaced by Michael Tonkin who retired Franco and Raley to avoid anymore damage.

It was a tough outing for Elder who allowed six hits and a season-high seven runs in just 3 1/3 innings. He walked four and didn’t record a strikeout.

The Rays added another run in the fifth against Tonkin as Randy Arozarena singled, stole second and moved to third on a throwing error by d’Arnaud. He’d score on a double by Walls to make it 8-2.

Atlanta’s offense would try to claw back in the sixth as Matt Olson would score Austin Riley on a RBI double, giving Olson his 72nd RBI before the All-Star break and putting Atlanta’s deficit at 8-3.

Joe Jimenez worked a clean inning in the sixth and the Braves scrapped across another run in the seventh. Eddie Rosario hit a one-out single and moved to second on a wild pitch. Michael Harris brought him home to cut Tampa’s lead back to 8-4.

Jimenez worked another perfect inning in the seventh. Kolby Allard allowed two more runs in the eighth on another double by Diaz to round out the scoring. Robert Stephenson struck out the side in the ninth for the Rays to end the game.

The Braves will head into the All-Star break with the best record in the majors at 60-29. They have an 8.5 game lead over the Marlins and a 12 game advantage over the Philadelphia Phillies. They will resume play on Friday when they will begin a homestand with a three-game series against the Chicago White Sox.

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