When the day started, no one in Braves Country knew what to expect in facing Zach Gallen. However, the rally bats went to work late and salvaged the third game of this series, 7-5.

Staring out my sideview mirror for nearly six hours Thursday afternoon, 55 mph kept staring at me from the wheel-well of the U-Haul trailer I was pulling. That’s all the faster I was supposed to be driving while pulling this trailer full of furniture across the state.

I settled in for the long drive with Brandon Gaudin and Nick Green talking through my phone. The phone was face down for my protection. My wife was along for the ride and asleep much of the ride. But if she woke and saw me watching the game, there would have been a problem.nAnd trust me, that problem is greater than the one the team was facing late in the game.

But then it happened! Austin Riley belted his fourth homer in three days to give the Braves a 6-5 lead, I was going 72 mph, nearly swerved off the highway, and my “Yee-Yee!” woke my wife. The glare was well worth it, my friends, and the rally bats were huge in a 7-5 win over the Diamondbacks.

Tale of two games

This game was the tale of two games. It was an old-fashioned pitcher’s duel through six innings. Spencer Strider had 13 through six innings and was virtually unhittable. Arizona mustered just two singles and was striking out far more than they usually do. Zach Gallen matched Strider inning for inning before yielding a one-out homer to Orlando Arcia-later. Arcia’s blast was 403 feet, clocked at 104.3 off the bat, and was the first of anything that Gallen gave up.

That blast by Arcia seemed to wake a sleeping monster – in the form of both offenses – and things got pretty exciting. Corbin Carroll drew a lead-off walk and quickly stole second base. Strider then hit Christian Walker with a 97 mph heater – poor sucker – and Dominic Canzone ran into his first MLB home run. Canzone’s blast gave the Diamondbacks the lead.

This was the last thing I saw before we jumped into my truck to begin the trek east. Between the house and the truck, Strider gave up yet another bomb and, let’s just say, it was good my wife wanted to get a nap in. I festered and stewed in quiet.

All was not yet lost, as the rally bats awakened in the bottom of the seventh. Riley tripled off the bricks to lead off the inning. I said, RILEY TRIPLED OFF THE BRICKS to lead off the inning. Matt Olson then made a game of it with a two-run blast that traveled 408 feet to left-center field, pulling Atlanta within 4-3. {Confession time: I used to hate it when players swung 3-0…until this year. Perhaps I’m growing up in my old age?}

Thanks to the rally bats, the Braves had much to celebrate as Austin Riley and Matt Olson had huge days for the Braves.

What is Snit to do?

Braves manager Brian Snitker has the unenviable task of managing a bullpen where he can’t trust anyone right now. He chose Kirby Yates, who’s actually been decent lately. I’m not sure who else he could have turned to, but the All-Star Carroll launched a four-seam fastball that was middle-in to extend the lead to 5-3.

If you’re like me, you’ve grown tired of the Braves scoring runs, only to give them right back. On this day, the Braves were not yet finished. The rally bats went back to work. Michael Harris II doubled with one-out, and decided not to risk being thrown out trying to swipe third (like he did in the sixth inning). Ozzie Albies drew a six-pitch walk an out later, setting the stage for Riley.

Miguel Castro came on for the Diamondbacks. Castro threw strike one on a slider down in the zone on his first offering to Riley. He then got Austin to chase, putting the slugger in an 0-2 hole. Riley then spit on a third straight slider before unloading on a 432-foot bomb. (This is the one when my load and I nearly landed in the ditch.) Olson followed with his second homer of the day. Nick Green described this moon-shot as scraping the clouds on its way to the Chophouse. And that was the ballgame. I didn’t see either home run until hours later because my wife was now awake and I wasn’t flipping that phone over for anything.

Raisel Iglesias worked a Will Smith-like ninth (without the HR), earning the save as the Braves won for just the second time in seven games. They travel to Milwaukee where Michael Soroka will take on Freddy Peralta Friday evening at 8:10 ET/7:10 CT.