Braves continue to inch towards history, beat Phillies in extras

Braves Olson

For a game that really didn’t have a whole lot of implications for the Braves, it sure felt like a playoff atmosphere against the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park.

Max Fried was once again spectacular. Aside from a second inning home run to Nick Castellanos, he was nearly flawless, and the Braves bats jumped out to an early lead, thanks to three home runs.

The first came from Matt Olson, which tied the game. It was Olson’s 51st of the season, tying the franchise record with 17 games remaining.

With the way he’s been going, it’s possible Olson flirts with 60 long balls, which is really the true single-season National League home run record, excluding players that were on steroids.

The following inning is when the fireworks really started. Ronald Acuna Jr. blasted his 37th homer of the season to give the Braves a two-run lead. He’s now three long balls shy of becoming the first member of the 40/70 club and just the fifth member of the 40/40 club.

A few batters later in the same inning, Marcell Ozuna would double the Braves total with a three-run shot, his 34th homer of the season, giving Atlanta what looked to be a comfortable lead. But against this Phillies offense, no lead is safe, and they would answer.

Trea Turner cut the lead to four with a single in the seventh. Then, Bryce Harper and Bryson Stott delivered homers in the eighth inning off Joe Jimenez, making it 6-5. Minter relieved Jimenez for the final two outs of the inning, but Raisel Iglesias couldn’t hold the lead in the ninth, as Trea Turner led off the frame with a homer. The next two batters would get on as well, but the Phillies couldn’t push the winning run across as Nick Castellanos ended the inning with a double play on a hard-hit grounder to Austin Riley.

The 10th inning delivered more theatrics. Eddie Rosario put the Braves on top with a single to right, but the Braves couldn’t add any more, leaving it up to Brad Hand in the bottom half of the inning, and he would deliver, forcing a groundout to first, a strikeout and an infield fly to Ozzie Albies to seal the victory.

The win puts the Braves 16 games up in the NL East with a magic number of two. With a win today over the Phillies, they can clinch their sixth straight NL East title at the home of their division rival. How sweet that would be after what transpired in the NLDS last season.

Photographer: Jeff Robinson/Icon Sportswire

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