It's hard to be mad about a series win, but this is one where the Braves were five outs away from a sweep. The Braves tripped at the finish line and had to settle for two out of three. The Nats didn't cooperate and now the Braves are seven games out of first. Hopefully, they can take care of business at the Great American
Bandbox Ballpark while we sacrifice a live chicken to Jobu so that the Nats trip up and the division race can get interesting again. The Braves are 1.5 games out of the Wild Card.
The offense continued its good work from the Oakland series. Jason Heyward and Andrelton Simmons hit back-to-back homers to start the opening game as part of a six-run first inning. Every starting position player had at least one hit in the game (Heyward had three); Ervin Santana gave up three solo homers, two of them to Starling Marte, but allowed no other runs despite nine hits in 5.1 innings.
The Braves pounded Francisco Liriano in the second game, collecting 10 hits in 4+ innings. Justin Upton hit a three-run homer as part of his 5-RBI night. Every starter except one had at least one hit, including Aaron Harang and it was an RBI hit, his first RBI since 2012; every starting position player scored at least one run. Evan Gattis also hit a monster home run that hit the spiral walkway in left field. Altogether, the offense collected 14 hits.
Wednesday was the killer. Alex Wood had a three-hit shutout working into the eighth with a 2-0 lead, but then a leadoff walk and one too many curveballs and Wood was taken down for Jordan Walden. A groundout scored a run, but Atlanta still had a chance to get out of the inning. It's too bad, then, that Walden wild pitched the tying run home and then in the ninth, the Uptons danced around a fly ball that allowed the Pirates to walk off on a sac fly.
Justin Upton has a 10-game hitting streak heading into Cincinnati.