Cable TV didn’t come to our part of the country until 1983, and although air conditioning had long existed, it wasn’t anything my folks could be bothered with until long after my brother and I moved out. But summer evenings can be pleasant in the WNC mountains, and we spent many an evening sitting out back waiting for the first star to come out and to see the evening’s first lightning bug. And after dark, we could pick up the Braves on WSB radio, where you might hear something like:

Ernie: Skip, Harper was supposed to return from his groin injury tonight, but it looks like it might be another day or two.
Skip: Well, you know sometimes a groin has a mind of its own.

I’ve long since had both cable and air conditioning, but sometimes I still like to go sit out back and turn on Braves radio.

Anyway, the Braves won another series. Ho, hum.

The first star came out in the top of the 4th, when Ronald Acuna Jr. broke up Taj Bradley‘s perfect game. Ronald lined a 97 mph fastball on the outside edge of the plate between 2nd base and shortstop, and turned it into a hustle double. Matt Olson drove in Acuna for the Braves first run after an Ozzie Albies walk, and Sean Murphy brought the lightning with his 17th homer of the season to make it 4 – 0.

Spencer Strider did Strider things, striking out 11 in 6 1/3 innings, allowing 4 hits and 0 runs. The Rays were gifted with their run in the 8th when Orlando Arcia broke to cover 2nd on a chopper fielded by Austin Riley, and Wander Franco never stopped running from first. Arcia could not beat Franco to the 3rd base bag, and Olson’s throw to the empty base allowed Franco to score. Ben Heller watched all this unfold from the mound.

However, Franco gave the run back in the top of the 9th when he threw past Brandon Lowe at 2nd on a chopper by Michael Harris II, allowing Arcia to come all the way around. Ronald singled in Harris to conclude the scoring.

A.J. Minter departed the game with left pectoral tightness after striking out the first batter in the eighth. Minter says he’s not concerned about it, per our KirkH.

Max Fried Back on the Hill!

per a report, Fried was really working on his secondary pitches, but ran a few fastballs up to 96 MPH. Rumor has it that AA and his crew will give Fried about a month before activating him.

Sunday Game Thread

The Braves look to put the cherry on their 11th straight series victory by completing the sweep on Sunday; Bryce Elder and Zach Eflin scheduled at 1:40.

In 2 games against the Rays, the Braves have allowed one earned run to the team with the 2nd best record in the majors, albeit a team now in the midst of a 7 game losing streak. A victory on Sunday would allow the Braves to go into the All-Star break with a 6 game lead on MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL(!).

Final thought: with 8 All-Stars headed to Seattle, if the National League loses this year should it count as a series loss for the Braves?