After a rough stretch of games, the Braves turned to Spencer Strider to hold the Phillies’ offense down and give their powerful offense a chance to take the game over.
The first innings started quite well for Atlanta, as Strider had no trouble putting down the side and Ronald Acuna led off the home half with a homer to left field, his 38th of the season.
After a fairly run-of-the-mill second, Strider began to take over the game in the third, striking out the side, taking two more Philly strikeout victims in the fourth, and another two in the fifth. At this point he had 9 strikeouts through the 5.0 innings with only 62 pitches thrown. The Braves offense gave Strider some breathing room in the home third, with a single from Ozuna, a double from d’Arnaud, and a two-RBI single from Pillar. One odd quirk must be mentioned from the bottom of the third, as the inning was ended on a double play that resulted from a Michael Harris batted ball that was hit almost directly in the ground and settled a mere foot in front of home plate.
The bottom of the fifth was when the Braves’ offense really broke the game open against Philly deadline addition Michael Lorenzen, plating four more runs with two singles, two walks and a double, sending batters 1-9 to the plate. Ronald swiped his 67th stolen base after his single started this flurry of offense. The Phillies got back in the game in the sixth, as two singles preceded a Bryce Harper homer that just made it over the right field wall, making the score 7-3. Ronald didn’t like that score, and so he led off the sixth with his second homer of the night, 39th of the year, and 100th RBI of the year.
Ozuna brought another run home with a bloop single after walks from Austin and Matt. Strider came back out for the seventh and recorded his 11th strikeout of the evening to cap off a scoreless seventh and a dominant outing. The rest of the game cruised by without much intrigue, aside from a ball that Ronald gave a bit of a ride, but not quite enough for his 40th homer. AJ Minter and Raisel Iglesias each worked an easy 1-2-3 inning in the eighth and ninth innings, respectively.
The Braves got back to their dominant selves behind a strong Strider start and an offensive explosion led by Ronald Acuna.
Join us again tomorrow for the rubbermatch at 12:20 PM ET.