The Braves were propelled to victory over the Nationals with Ronald Acuna scoring his 140th run and Matt Olson hitting his 53rd home run, resulting in a final score of 10-3.
WASHINGTON — Ronald Acuña Jr. scored his 140th run of 2023 – the most in the majors in 16 years – after tripling, Matt Olson hit his 53rd homer and Ozzie Albies went deep for one of his four hits, lifting the NL East champion Atlanta Braves past the last-place Washington Nationals 10-3 on Thursday night.
The Braves out-hit the Nationals 18-8, and every member of Atlanta’s daunting starting lineup reached base at least once. Olson raised his RBI total to 132, equaling Gary Sheffield in 2003 for the most by a Braves player since the club moved to Atlanta. Albies went 4 for 6, including his 32nd homer, with four RBIs to top 100 in a season for the second time in his career.
Austin Riley, Michael Harris II, and Orlando Arcia all recorded three hits each.
Max Fried (8-1), who got extra rest between starts to avoid developing a finger blister, allowed one run – on Alex Call’s homer in the third – and three hits in six innings while striking out seven. He lowered his ERA to 2.55.
The left-hander started on opening day in Washington but left after just 3 1/3 innings that day and wound up on the injured list with a strained left hamstring.
Acuña, who was cheered with “M-V-P!” chants while batting, had a 1 for 6 performance and is still one home run away from joining the exclusive group of players in major league history who have achieved 40 home runs and 40 steals in a single season. Currently, he has 39 home runs and 68 steals, with one steal added on Thursday.
His triple to left off rookie Jake Irvin (3-7) got the Braves going in the third, and Albies brought him home with a double to right. Acuña is the first player to reach 140 runs since 2007, when Alex Rodriguez got to 143.
Atlanta batted around and Riley, Harris, Marcell Ozuna, and Travis d’Arnaud contributed RBIs. In 2 2/3 innings, Irvin gave up five runs, seven hits, and three walks.
Olson’s majors-best 53rd homer came on reliever Cory Abbott’s first pitch of the eighth. Albies hit a two-run shot off Abbott in the ninth.
Abbott allowed eight hits and four runs in a span of 4 and 2/3 innings. Remarkably, he achieved a Nationals record by striking out eight batters during his time on the mound as a reliever.
The Braves have secured their sixth consecutive NL East title, bringing their record to 98-55. The Nationals, on the other hand, have a record of 68-86.
Josh Harris, the recently appointed owner of the Washington Commanders in the NFL, had the honor of throwing the ceremonial first pitch in a collaborative effort with the Nationals. The pitch was caught by pitcher Patrick Corbin. Prior to the game, several ex-players from the football team engaged in a Q-and-A session with numerous fans in attendance.
The Washington Nationals’ right-handed pitcher, Tanner Rainey, who underwent Tommy John surgery for his elbow over a year ago, is scheduled to participate in a live batting practice session this Friday.
On Friday night, in the second game of the four-game series, left-handed pitcher Corbin with a record of 10-13 and an ERA of 5.00 will be starting against right-handed pitcher Morton from Atlanta, who has a record of 14-12 and an ERA of 3.66.
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