Stock Up: Atlanta Braves continue to roll
Two teams have been consistent all season long, the Rays and the Braves. That trend continued in the last week for the National League East leaders.
After dropping the first game of their much-anticipated three-game series against the Cincinnati Reds last Friday, 11-10, they broke Cincinnati’s 12-game winning streak Saturday and then won Sunday to take two out of three games. They returned home to sweep the Minnesota Twins and drop them from first place in the AL Central, behind the Cleveland Guardians.
Spencer Strider had another strong performance on the mound, striking out 10 in seven innings allowing just three hits and a run to Minnesota on Monday, then Kolby Allard was good Wednesday in a 3-0 Braves win, working 4.2 scoreless innings, giving up three hits and striking out eight. Atlanta got 4.1 scoreless innings from the bullpen to complete the sweep.
Offensively, the Braves continued to mash the baseball Tuesday night off of Minnesota starter Joe Ryan. Three first-inning home runs from Ronald Acuña, Jr., Austin Riley, and Sean Murphy.
How good of a week was it for Atlanta? The Miami Marlins and Philadelphia Phillies have both been playing good baseball with multiple-game winning streaks, but have not gained any ground on the Braves. Things get interesting this weekend as the Marlins visit for a key three-game series.