The Braves closed the gap with the first place Mets to 2.5 games as they held on for a 4-1 victory Saturday evening in Cincinnati.
Spencer Strider had his best start so far. He carried a no-hitter into the 5th. The lone run he gave up came as a result of a HBP of Kyle Farmer in the left hand (who left the game afterwards), a wild pitch, and a bloop single which ended up being the only run he surrendered. Strider ended up pitching 6 innings, allowing just the 1 run on 1 hit, 1 walk, and 11 strikeouts. Simply put, he was electric.
The Braves got on the board first in the 2ndinning, as Austin Riley led off with his 20thhomer. Reds starter Tyler Mahle walked the next 2 hitters and hit Adam Duvall on the hand with a fastball. But on a 3-1 pitch, Orlando Arcia checked his swing on a ball outside of the zone, and on an appeal it was ruled as a swing. Unfortunately, Duvall had a lapse of concentration, and started jogging to 2nd base thinking it was a walk. The pitcher simply threw the ball to first, and Mike Moustakas tagged Duvall out, who still didn’t realize that it was a strike. Arcia then struck out on the next pitch for the 2nd out, and the next hitter Michael Harris also struck out. The Braves managed to load the bases with 0 outs and didn’t score outside of the leadoff homer.
Duvall later left the game due to being injured on the HBP. No word on his condition to this point.
The Braves added a run in the 4th inning as Mahle struggled with his control and walked in a run. In the 7th, the Braves made it 4-1 after a Ronald Acuna Jr. walk, a Dansby Swanson single, a Matt Olson fielder’s choice for an RBI, and a Riley double for another RBI.
AJ Minter and Jesse Chavez pitched scoreless innings in the 7th and 8th, respectively.
Will Smith nearly blew the game in the 9th. After striking out Brandon Drury to lead off the inning, he walked the next 2 hitters. Matt Reynolds (who replaced an injured Farmer) flew out to right, but Hancock hit pinch hitter Donovan Solano with a back foot slider on an 0-2 pitch to load the bases. On the next pitch, Nick Senzel nearly hit a would be walk off grand slam, but the fastball was just in on him enough to where Guillermo Heredia caught it at the warning track for the 3rd out. Way too close.
The Braves will go for the sweep of the Reds tomorrow, as Charlie Morton faces Luis Castillo at 1:40 tomorrow.