When the Atlanta Braves got off to a slow start offensively, there was plenty of finger pointing going around within the fanbase. Austin Riley did not really get off to a slow start at the plate hitting .299/.409/.442 with a 135 wRC+ over the first month of the season, but had not shown the type of power that we had seen from him in the past.
Riley has continued to surge in May and has taken his game to another level as the power has returned. He homered two more times in Sunday’s 7-1 win over the Pirates and became the first Braves third baseman to record two homers and five RBIs in a game since Chipper Jones back in 2009.
“When I’m going good, I’m going to the big part of the field,” Riley said. “I think that’s where I’m at right now. It allows me to hit the fastball and stay on offspeed. I think that’s my best self.”
Riley has been scorching with 12 hits over his last seven games with 10 of those going for extra bases including seven home runs. He is emerging as that middle of the order bat that the team always seems to enter the offseason in search of. Riley is now hitting .320/.414/.963 with nine homers in 153 at-bats.
More Braves News
The Braves added a fresh arm to the bullpen Sunday recalling right-hander Jay Flaa from Gwinnett while optioning Bryse Wilson. The Braves picked up Flaa off of waivers from the Orioles earlier this month. Wilson pitched well Saturday, but with a pair of off days next week, he will go back to Gwinnett and continue to pitch on schedule.
The Washington Nationals placed right-hander Will Harris and outfielder Victor Robles on the 10-day injured list Sunday. Harris is out due to inflammation in his right hand. Robles is dealing with a sprained right ankle.
Red Sox lefty Chris Sale continues to progress in his return from Tommy John surgery and is progressing into more of a Spring Training situation where he starts to build up strength and stamina.
Cleveland outfielder Franmil Reyes is headed to the injured list due to an oblique strain and is expected to miss 5-7 weeks. Reyes suffered the injury on a swing during the sixth inning of Saturday’s game against the Twins.