Atlanta Braves Beat Oakland, Claim Share of First Place

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - AUGUST 10: Vaughn Grissom #18 of the Atlanta Braves reacts after hitting a two-run home run against the Boston Red Sox during the seventh inning at Fenway Park on August 10, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Brian Fluharty/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - AUGUST 10: Vaughn Grissom #18 of the Atlanta Braves reacts after hitting a two-run home run against the Boston Red Sox during the seventh inning at Fenway Park on August 10, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Brian Fluharty/Getty Images) /
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The Atlanta Braves and Oakland Athletics started a two-game series on Tuesday night in Oakland.

The red-hot Atlanta Braves headed out to the west coast for a five-game road trip that included stops in Oakland and Seattle.  The first stop on the trip would be in Oakland as the Braves and A’s met up in the opening game of a quick two-game set.

The Braves sent seventeen-game-winner Kyle Wright to the mound and Oakland countered with lefty, Cole Irvin.

Not only did the Braves have an advantage on the mound, but they also had an advantage in the batter’s box as well.  The Braves have boasted one of the more prolific offenses this season, while Oakland has struggled to scratch out runs for the majority of 2022.

Through two and a half innings this game looked like it was going to go exactly to script as the Braves used a three-run first inning and a three-run blast in the third inning off the bat of Matt Olson, who celebrated his return to Oakland in style, giving the Braves a 6-1 lead.

Kyle Wright ran into trouble in the bottom of the third when he gave up four runs, including back-to-back home runs to Sean Murphy and Seth Brown, which cut the Atlanta lead to 6-5.

While the Atlanta offense continued to tack runs on, Kyle Wright continued his Jekyll and Hyde impression in the fourth and fifth innings.  Wright was filthy in the fourth, striking out the side.  That coupled with the Braves’ offense putting three more runs on the board in the top of the fifth seemed to indicate that the Braves would roll to a win.

However, Kyle Wright lost all semblance of control in the fifth.  The Braves’ young right-hander would only face three batters in the fifth, as Wright struggled to locate and would surrender a pair of walks and an HBP, that would force Brian Snitker to call on Dylan Lee with the bases loaded and no one out in the bottom of the fifth.

Lee looked poised to end the Oakland threat with just one run scoring until Chad Pinder deposited a three-run bomb over the wall in center, just out of Michael Harris’ reach and all of a sudden the Braves found themselves in a 9-9 dogfight heading into the sixth.

The Braves took yet another lead in the top of the sixth with some good, old-fashioned, ABC baseball.  After Ronald Acuna, Jr. led off the inning with a double, a pair of sacrifice flies from Dansby Swanson and Austin Riley brought Ronald around to score, giving Atlanta a 10-9 lead.

The bullpens for both teams held the opposing offenses in check heading into the bottom of the ninth, where all of Braves Country would hold their collective breath as Kenley Jansen strolled in to try to close the game out.

Jansen decided that the previous eight innings had provided enough drama on this night as he blew through the A’s in order in the bottom of the ninth, preserving the one-run Atlanta win.

The Atlanta Braves won a wild affair on Tuesday night, beating Oakland, 10-9.

There were plenty of highlights for the Braves on this night.

Chavez, Iglesias, Minter, and Jansen covered four and a third shutout innings giving up just one hit while picking up Kyle Wright after a rare off night.

Vaughn Grissom had his first career four-hit game, Matt Olson came back to where his career started and hit a huge three-run home run, and Marcell Ozuna looked like he had a plan in his plate appearances and may just be a contributor for this team down the stretch after all.

But there was no bigger highlight than the Braves pulling even with the New York Mets atop the NL East standings, at 85-51.

Yes, it is true that the Mets’ remaining schedule is, on paper, much less difficult than what the Braves will have to face over the final twenty-six games of the season.  However, as of Tuesday night, momentum is clearly in the Braves’ corner.

Since that forgettable series in New York in which the Mets took four of five against the Braves, Atlanta is 21-5.  The Mets are 15-12.

There is a lot of baseball left to be played and a lot of different things can happen over 26 games.  But if recent history tells us anything one team is likely highly confident heading down the stretch, while the team from the Big Apple, whether they want to admit it or not, is starting to have doubt creep in.

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Atlanta will go for their seventh win in a row and a sweep of Oakland tomorrow as the Braves and Athletics conclude their two-game set.  The Braves will send rookie phenom Spencer Strider to the mound tomorrow while Oakland will go with Ken Waldichuk.  First pitch is scheduled for 3:37 pm EST.