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Braves bats break into extra innings against Rockies

Braves bats break into extra innings against Rockies

DENVER — With a few pitcher-dominated extra-inning wins at Coors Field, the Braves created their first four-game winning streak of the season, tied their record for the first time in nearly two months, and finally began to look like to the defending World Series champions.

“We know we can play this game against anybody,” Austin Riley said. “I think the most important thing I’ve noticed over the past few days is that the guys are playing their game. They’re not trying to do too much. I think that will go a long way to showing what is this team.

Marcell Ozuna and William Contreras delivered back-to-back doubles and Adam Duvall homered to cap an 11th inning three-run that gave the Braves a 5-2 victory over the Rockies at Coors Field on Saturday night. Atlanta has two extra-inning wins over the past two days, two more than before Friday’s 10-inning victory.

After squandering the one-run lead in Saturday’s 10th inning, the Braves created some solace by putting a twisted number on the board. The 11th-inning blowout supported a big bullpen effort from the Braves, which allowed one hit and no earned runs through seven innings.

The Braves have a .500 record (27-27) for the first time since April 16. Here are three takeaways from their latest win.

1. Another MVP push?
Riley started his last multi-hit performance with a triple that went off his bat with an exit speed of 113.1 mph and dented the center field wall to the left of the 415-foot backboard. The Braves third baseman then drilled a game-tying solo home run to start the sixth inning against Rockies starter Kyle Freeland. His team-leading 14 homers put him on the pace to hit 42 this year.

“He just does this [we’ve] expect now,” manager Brian Snitker said. “It’s quite special.”

Riley got off to a decent start, slowed down in early May and hit .389 with six homers and a 1.264 OPS in his last 13 games. There’s a chance he could top last year’s output, which included a .303 batting average, 33 homers and .898 OPS. This year’s 14th homer entered his 208th at-bat. That’s 64 fewer appearances than he needed to reach that total last year.

“I expect it from myself,” Riley said, when told of Snitker’s remark. “I work very hard and try to master my craft with defense and my swing.”

2. Night shift II:
While Will Smith, Tyler Matzek, AJ Minter and Luke Jackson shone in last year’s playoffs, the Braves’ bullpen has become known as The Night Shift. Well, Jackson is recovering from Tommy John surgery, Matzek is in IL with shoulder pain, and Smith has been shaking for the past few weeks.

But Minter was one of the best relievers in the game and was part of Saturday night’s impressive combined performance. Jesse Chavez, who the Braves received from the Cubs in exchange for Sean Newcomb, pitched two scoreless innings, and Colin McHugh, Darren O’Day, Minter and Jackson Stephens combined to keep the Rockies quiet after the fourth inning. The only run allowed came when Elias Díaz isolated Minter to start 10th with the automatic runner in second.

“At the start of this year, we knew this paddock was going to be special,” Minter said. “With injured guys, a lot of guys took over.”

3. Survive and Advance:
There was nothing quaint about Spencer Strider’s first Coors Field experience. But as he allowed just one run despite walking five-for-five in four innings, the rookie flamethrower made another solid impression. The Rockies charged in the third and fourth innings. But their only run against Strider came thanks to a wild pitch with two outs in the fourth.

Strider was only making his second career start. But to show the confidence he has already earned, he stayed in the game. After the wild pitch, he used the next pitch to end his outing with a Charlie Blackmon groundout. A round earlier, Dansby Swanson made a great play to kill the Rockies’ first base-laden threat.

While Strider was throwing a career-high 86 pitches (45 hits), he was still developing the stamina and strength that weren’t needed when he was making relief appearances in one and two innings just a few years ago. weeks. He can continue to struggle against an inconsistent command as he continues to stretch over the next two starts. But he blamed himself more for dodging his fastball and trying to get too many chase swings with his slider.

“You can’t make the game too complicated, that’s rule number one,” Strider explained. “I think there were times tonight where we were a bit too complicated. But it’s a learning curve. You have to let the game tell you when it’s time to change.

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