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Ozzie Albies, Dansby Swanson power Braves to 12-2 win over Nationals

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Albies homered for the fourth straight game.

Atlanta Braves v Washington Nationals Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images

Ozzie Albies and Dansby Swanson did the heavy lifting in support of Max Fried to help the Atlanta Braves to a 12-2 win over the Washington Nationals.

The Braves finally broke through against Patrick Corbin in the third. As has been the case multiple times this season, the rally started with a single by Max Fried. Albies followed with a bullet to center that Victor Robles misread into a triple. Fried scored from first on the play to give Atlanta a 1-0 lead. Albies scored two batters later when Freddie Freeman singled back through the box.

Fried sat down the first nine hitters he faced but Robles reached on a bunt single to lead off the fourth. He moved up to third as Juan Soto doubled off the wall in right with one out and then scored on a sharp single by Josh Bell. Fried struck out Yadiel Hernandez and got Carter Kieboom to ground out sharply to Swanson to escape with no further damage.

Atlanta busted the game open in the fifth. Guillermo Heredia singled to begin the inning and then moved up to second on a sacrifice bunt by Fried. Albies struck again lining a 3-2 pitch into the bullpen in left center for a two-run home run to extend the lead to 4-1. Albies has now homered in four straight games and five of his last six overall.

The Braves weren’t finished. Jorge Soler worked a walk and then moved up to second on another single by Freeman. Soler moved to third on a fly out by Soler and Freeman swiped second to put two men scoring position. Swanson extended the lead to 6-1 with a solid single to left.

Fried retired five straight after Bell’s run-scoring single before Robles singled to lead off the sixth. He retired Alcides Escobar on a fly out and then struck out Juan Soto. Bell then reached on an error by Swanson and Hernandez made the Braves pay with a single to left that scored Robles to cut the lead to 6-2.

Atlanta continued to pour it on in the seventh. Freeman worked a one-out walk off of Javy Guerra and then moved up to second after Austin Riley was hit by a pitch. Swanson then jumped all over an 0-2 fastball and drove it out to left for a three-run shot to extend the lead to 9-2.

With the lead extended, Fried would exit after the sixth having allowed five hits and two runs, although only one was earned. He struck out seven and didn’t walk anyone in those six innings.

Chris Martin allowed a two-out single in a scoreless seventh and the Braves tacked on another run in the eighth when Joc Pederson scored when Soler grounded into a double play to make it 10-2. A.J. Minter struck out the side in a scoreless eighth but did issue back-to-back walks to Bell and Hernandez.

The Braves added two more runs in the ninth as Swanson and Adam Duvall went back-to-back to make it 12-2

Jacob Webb worked a perfect ninth to close out the win.

Albies banged out three hits and finished a double shy of the cycle. Swanson also had three hits including a pair of homers and drove in six runs. Freeman and Heredia both finished with two hits each.

The Braves improve to 61-56 on the season and keep pace with the Phillies in the NL East standings. They will try to complete the sweep Sunday with Drew Smyly matching up against Paolo Espino.