Braves: Austin Riley matches yet another Hank Aaron record amid MVP race

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The Braves had an MVP-like performance from Austin Riley in their 9-7 extra-innings win over the Red Sox on Tuesday. Michael Harris II, Dansby Swanson, and Ronald Acuna Jr. played their parts in Atlanta’s victory over Boston as Tyler Matzek shut down the Red Sox in the bottom of the 11th inning, recording the first save of his career.

However, the hero of the night had to be Riley, who finished three-for-five at the plate with five RBIs. He’s the second-favorite in the MVP race, behind only Paul Goldschmidt, as he sits third in the league in home runs, eighth in RBIs and second in total bases. But Riley accomplished something much more impressive in Tuesday night’s victory — matching yet another Hank Aaron franchise record.

His 30th homer on the season was an absolute moon shot that traveled well over Boston’s infamous Green Monster.

Riley tied Aaron’s record for fastest player to reach 30 home runs and 30 doubles in a season, which is the second record he has challenged. The recently extended Riley won July honors for Player of the Month as he hit .423 with 11 home runs, 14 doubles, 25 RBIs, and posted a 1.338 OPS, including a walk-off double on the last day of the month, which was his 26th extra-base hit of July, breaking Aaron’s record of 25 extra-base hits in a single month.

Riley is having a career year, which is encouraging because some believed last season was a flash in the pan. Catching Goldschmidt in the MVP race might be difficult because the veteran first baseman is putting up some insane offensive numbers.

Goldschmidt: 447 PA, 26 HR, 84 RBI, 74 R, 30 2B, 55 BB, 94 K
Riley: 473 PA, 30 HR, 74 RBI, 66 R, 33 2B, 33 BB, 119 K

Goldschmidt: .329/.413/.609, 1.022 OPS, 191 OPS+
Riley: .298/.359/.594, .954 OPS, 158 OPS+

Goldschmidt: 5.7 bWAR, 5.3 fWAR, .280 ISO, 186 wRC+, .434 wOBA, 3.9 WPA
Riley: 4.8 bWAR, 4.7 fWAR, .296 ISO, 160 wRC+, .405 wOBA, 2.0 WPA

Riley is having an absolutely incredible season, but Goldschmidt is the clear favorite at this point. Still, matching multiple records from arguably the greatest player in the game’s history is worth celebrating.

Photographer: Jeff Robinson/Icon Sportswire

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