Atlanta Braves wallop Marlins thanks to homer barrage and Strider's near no-hitter
By Eric Cole
While Spencer Strider fell just short of a no hitter, his absolutely dominated performance on the mound combined with an offensive barrage led by Sam Hilliard's two home run game gave the Atlanta Braves a much needed 11-0 win over the Marlins.
Spencer Strider took the mound looking to extend his impressive streak of starts where he had struck out at least nine guys and he got off to a good start when he struck out two batters in the first inning and added another K in the third. Importantly, Strider only threw 17 pitches through the first two innings.
The Braves found themselves with their first big scoring opportunity in the bottom of the second when a single from Eddie Rosario and some suspect Marlins defense gave the Braves runners on second and third with no out. After Marcell Ozuna gave Miami his inevitable, unproductive out and Rosario got thrown out at home on a fielder's choice, Ehire Adrianza drew a walk to load the bases. Sadly, Ronald Acuna Jr. grounded into a force out on the first pitch he saw to end the threat.
After another shutdown inning from Spencer Strider, the Braves would finally get on the board in the third inning thanks to Sean Murphy. Murph took a 96 mph fastball up in the zone and deposited it 430 feet away in left-center to give the Braves a 1-0 lead. It was his sixth home run of the season.
Spencer Strider kept cruising with four perfect innings with six strikeouts and the Braves added to their lead via the long ball yet again. After Marcell Ozuna miraculously drew a walk, Sam Hilliard connected for a two-run homer and just like that, the Braves had themselves a 3-0 lead.
Eddie Rosario would get in on the fun in the fifth inning as well, which was good to see given that he has struggled to put together a string of good results at the plate even when he was hitting the ball hard. After Austin Riley drew a walk, Eddie Rosario hit his second home run of the season. The way Strider was pitching, a 5-0 lead sure didn't seem necessary but we don't turn down free runs around here.
Sam Hilliard wasn't done for the evening, either, as he added ANOTHER home run to lead off the bottom of the sixth inning to make the lead six runs. Then Austin Riley hit a two-run shot of his own and the rout looked to be on as it was 8-0 Braves.
Spencer Strider's bid for a perfect game came to an end in the seventh inning after Matt Olson made an error on a grounder to first base, but the no hit bid stayed alive through the end of the inning. Sadly it would not last much longer than that as Jean Segura would single in the eighth inning to break up the no hitter. Regardless, his final line of 8 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, and 13 K is one of the finest you will see this season.
The Braves' offense did not let up, though, as they would load the bases in the bottom of the eighth and Ozzie Albies would clear them with a triple to make it 11-0 Braves. Calling it a triple was a bit of a generous description for that play, but we will take it.