Ronald Acuna Jr. crushed a 2-run homer to right in the bottom of the 3rd and doubled in 2 runs in the 4th to give the Braves a 4 – 0 lead over Aaron Nola and clinch the weekend series for the Braves. But wait, there’s more! Ronald added a spectacular diving catch to rob Bryce Harper with the bases loaded, ending the 5th inning and saving 3 more runs.
The unfortunate news is that as part of his journey to score the Braves 3rd run, Ozzie Albies fractured the pinky on his right hand while sliding headfirst into 2nd base. David O’Brien, among others, reports Ozzie will miss at least the rest of the regular season. Ozzie was replaced by Vaughn Grissom in the top of the 5th.
Jake Odorizzi shut down the Phillies for 4 innings, allowing just 1 hit and striking out 5, but after a walk, a single, a sacrifice fly, and 91 pitches he was replaced by Dylan Lee with 2 out in the 5th. Lee surrendered a hit to Kyle Schwarber, then walked Alec Bohm to load the bases. However, Lee was bailed out by Ronald’s spectacular diving catch going toward the right field line.
Collin McHugh pitched an uneventful 6th, but he allowed the Phillies to pick up a 2nd run in the 7th, and once again a lefty was summoned to face Schwarber. This time the reliever was A.J. Minter, who retired Schwarber and Bohm on 2 pitches.
Minter came back for the 8th to face Bryce Harper but allowed him a double. Raisel Iglesias came on at that point and retired J.T. Realmuto, but 2 singles later, Harper scored the Phillies final run.
Nola settled down after the 4th and lasted 7 innings, allowing 7 hits and striking out 8. Brad Hand brad handled the Braves in the 8th.
Kenley Jansen pitched an uneventful 9th to pick up his 34th save. Dansby Swanson helped out by chasing down a foul pop up from his shortstop position and catching it up against the netting along the 3rd base stands.
I read a story many years ago about Joe DiMaggio, who had arm problems later in his career. The story was that DiMaggio would unleash one powerful throw in warmups before each game. This and his reputation was enough to stop opponents from running on him, even though only he knew that he had no more throws left in the arm for the day.
Two Braves outfielders without arm problems are shutting down opponents an easier way. Bohm would not challenge Michael Harris’s reputation on a potential sacrifice fly in the 4th, and after Acuna unleashed a throw home on the fly from just short of the warning track in the 5th, Harper would not attempt to score from 2nd on a one hop single to Acuna in the 8th. (Harper eventually scored, as noted above.)
The Braves remain 1 game behind the first place Mets and go for the series sweep at 1:35 Sunday: Spencer Strider and Bailey Falter scheduled.