Acuña Jr. & Strider Dominate as Braves Blowout the Phillies 9-3

The Braves get back on track following an eleven-strikeout performance from Spencer Strider. Ronald Acuña Jr. gets within striking distance, knocking two homers and stealing a base, leading to a 9-3 win over the Phillies.

Philadelphia Phillies v Atlanta Braves
Philadelphia Phillies v Atlanta Braves / Matthew Grimes Jr./Atlanta Braves/GettyImages

The Braves come into game two looking to avoid their first five-game skid of the season. While September has been up and down, Atlanta became the first team to clinch a playoff berth and their respective division in the MLB. While there has been success, pitching has struggled, giving up 42 runs over their last four games.

Spencer Strider will take the mound to get the rotation back on track. The young righty pitched seven innings, allowing just one run, in his last outing vs. the Phillies. He will match up with Cristopher Sánchez, who has thrown well but took the loss last time vs. Atlanta.

Game Summary

The Braves started the game hot with a three-pitch strikeout of Kyle Schwarber. The strikeout moves Strider to 16 away from the franchise record. While he would get ahead of Trea Turner next, he rode a ball inside hitting Turner on the arm. That would not throw off Strider as two pitches later, Bryce Harper lined out into an inning-ending double play.

The bottom of the first started even better. Ronald Acuña Jr. hit a first-pitch sinker out to deep left for his 38th of the year. The leadoff homer was his 33rd of his career, which inches him closer to the unprecedented 40-70 season.

Phillies pitcher, Cristopher Sánchez, bounced back to get Albies and Riley out before Matt Olson drove a single to left-center. Marcell Ozuna followed, working the count full and eventually taking a walk to put runners on first and second. The damage stopped there after 21 pitches, as d'Arnaund hit a hard groundball to Bohm to end the inning.

Strider came out in the bottom of the second, getting the first two batters out with five pitches. The J.T. Realmuto came to the plate, pushing a tough ten-pitch AB, leading to a double down the right-field line. The Phillies would be stopped there, as Strider struck out Castellanos on four pitches for the third out.

Atlanta would go down 1-2-3 in the bottom of the second, in which Strider followed the next inning, casually striking out the side. The home half of the third looked promising as Albies and Riley hit singles to put runners at the corners. Olson followed with one out but drilled a ball into an unlucky double play.

Moving to the bottom of the fourth, Ozuna led off with a routine single. Travis d'Arnaurd followed, roping a ball to left field and getting a stand-up double. The Phillies got their first out with their infield in, grounding out Arcia. Atlanta found some runs next batter, as Kevin Pillar shot a ball down the middle to bring both runners home. The score was now 3-0, Michael Harris II hit into another bad luck, inning-ending double play on a broken bat.

Strider continued dealing in the top of the fifth, racking up two additional strikeouts and a one-pitch line-out. Setting himself up for the win, the Phillies had no answer for the young righty. The Braves bats started to ramp up as Philadelphia put in Michael Lorenzen.

On his first pitch, Acuña hit a ball to right-center before he stole second on the next pitch. The stolen base was Acuña's 67th of the year and allowed him to reach third on Ozzie's second single of the day.

Lorenzen then walked the bases loaded with no outs to bring up the MLB home run leader, Matt Olson. Working the count full, Olson spit on a slider in the dirt to walk in the fourth run. The Big Bear, Ozuna, followed, hammering a double down the left field line to make 6-0, still with no outs.

Travis d'Arnaud kept the fifth rolling, walking the bases loaded again with no outs. The Braves finally knocked out Lorenzen after Arcia batted a sacrifice fly to bring Olson home. Kevin Pillar was swapped for Eddie Rosario as Yunior Marte came in. However, Marte would get the next two batters, striking out Rosario and getting Harris to ground out. Nevertheless, The Braves added four runs to make it 7-0 going into the sixth.

The Phillies came back after an initial strikeout, hitting two singles. Turner hit into a fielder's choice straight to Riley but was too soft to turn the double play. Runners now at the corner with two outs, Bryce Harper got just enough of a hanging offspeed pitch to put over the wall. The home run was Harper's 19th of the year, going 387 feet, making the score 7-3.

While the Phillies put on a few runs, Atlanta answered with a second Acuña homer on a tricky pitch. His 39th homer was also his 100th run on the year, as the right fielder continues his MVP campaign. Next up, Albies walked, and then Riley hit a hard ball off the third base bag to put runners at the corners. For his third RBI of the game, Ozuna floated a broken bat floater to shallow left, bringing home Albies to make it 9-3.

The Braves replaced Strider with A.J. Minter in the top of the eighth. Strider was excellent tonight, striking out eleven and only allowing the Phillies to capitalize on one mistake. He hammered the corners and let the Braves jump out to a lead out of Philly's reach. Minter followed with a strikeout of his own and retired the Phillies' in order.

Atlanta went down with just one walk in the bottom of the eighth, bringing the Philly 2-3-4 hitters up for their final chance. Joe Jiménez came in to shut the door and secure the victory. The first batter, Trea Turner, went down swinging, and then Bryce Harper followed with a three-pitch strikeout of his own. Two pitches later, Jiménez played defense and picked a ground ball, throwing to first to end the game.


The Braves played a near-perfect game to avoid losing five games. Strider went out to strike out the first batter he saw, while Acuna hit out the first pitch against. Pitching needed a resounding performance that will hopefully start rubbing off on the rest of the lineup. Every inning saw a strikeout while Strider threw 11 chairs to Philly Batters. Outside of one mistake in the sixth, they had no answer for his sequencing, which was led by outstanding control.

Ronald is now past the pace to reach the first 40-70 season in MLB history. Hitting two homers and stealing his 67th bag, he will be looking to cement his MVP over the next few games. While Ronnie was great, the whole lineup contributed. Ozuna hit three RBIs and continues to be a surprising king of consistency. The overall order's patience put baserunners on, loading the bases twice, and eventually being too much for the Phillies' to handle.

Pitchers of Record

W: Spencer Strider: 7.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 11 K, 91 NPIT

L: Cristopher Sánchez: : 4.0 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 60 NPIT


Ronald Acuña Jr. ( 38, 39 )

Bryce Harper ( 19 )

Braves Bullpen

A.J. Minter: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 18 NPIT

Joe Jiménez: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 10 NPIT

Next Game

September 20th vs. Philadelphia Phillies, 12:20 p.m. EST on BSSE, MLBN