The Atlanta Braves’ offense came to life on Tuesday as they outlasted the Minnesota Twins with a 12-7 win.
Ronald Acuña Jr. didn’t waste any time staking the Braves to an early lead as he jumped on the first pitch thrown by Jose Berrios and drove it out to center for a leadoff home run. The homer was Acuña’s 14th career leadoff homer which is just three shy of the franchise record held by Felipe Alou.
Atlanta would strike again in the third when Freddie Freeman connected on his 28th home run of the season, a three-run shot to increase the Braves’ lead to 4-0.
The Braves would tack on another run in the fifth on an RBI single by Ozzie Albies to make it 5-0. They would blow the game wide open in the sixth as they scored six times with two outs to extend the lead to 11-0.
Berrios came into the game pitching well but suffered through his worst outing of the season. He was tagged for nine hits and nine runs over 5 2/3 innings. He struck out seven but walked four and allowed a pair of home runs.
Mike Foltynewicz cruised through the first five innings but faltered in the sixth after having to sit through the long top half of the frame. Nelson Cruz homered to left with one out to spoil the shutout. Then after a single by Eddie Rosario, Mitch Garver drove one out to left to make it 11-3.
That would be the end of the night for Foltynewicz who would exit having allowed five hits and three runs in 5 1/3 innings. He struck out seven and walked two. Luke Jackson came on and issued a pair of walks but got C.J. Cron to fly out to end the inning with no further damage.
The Twins would crawl closer in the seventh against Sean Newcomb. Max Kepler and Jake Cave led off the inning with back-to-back singles and then came around to score on another long home run by Cruz to cut the deficit to 11-6.
Atlanta tacked on an insurance run in the eighth when Ozzie Albies singled and then came around to score on a single by Brian McCann to increase the lead to 12-6.
Anthony Swarzak worked a scoreless eighth before giving way to Shane Greene in the ninth. Greene retired the first two hitters of the inning before allowing an opposite field homer to Eddie Rosario. He would then strikeout Garver to end the game.
Atlanta pounded out 16 hits and were 6-for-11 with runners in scoring position. Acuña, Albies and Freeman combined to go 10-for-16 with two homers, a triple, nine runs scored and eight RBIs. McCann and Ender Inciarte finished with two hits each. Cruz went 4-for-4 with a pair of homers and drove in four for the Twins.
The two teams will meet again in the rubber match of the series Wednesday afternoon. Max Fried will be on the mound for Atlanta while Martin Perez will get the nod for Minnesota.