Call it a streak: The Braves beat the Cubs for the third straight night Wednesday, this time cruising to a 10-0 win at Truist Park. It was the Braves’ third consecutive win since their scoreless Sunday doubleheader.

Here are five takeaways from the game:

1. Starter Huascar Ynoa is challenging Ian Anderson for the honor of best Braves starter this month. Ynoa dazzled yet again, striking out nine over 5-1/3 scoreless innings and embarrassing Cubs hitters with a crisp slider. The pitch generated 19 called strikes and whiffs in 48 pitches. Ynoa’s four-seamer hovered at near 96 mph and topped at 98.4 mph.

“That slider, it looks devastating,” first baseman Freddie Freeman said. “I’m glad he has a Braves jersey on and I don’t have to face that. He’s been huge for us and steady in the rotation so far.”

Manager Brian Snitker said of Ynoa: “One thing about that kid, he ain’t scared. I know that. ... It’s a cool thing, remembering when we brought that kid up here and watching him mature, figure things out. He’s a young kid, young pitcher who has really good skills and a great arm.”

2. Ynoa’s impact went beyond his bat. He slapped a home run off Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks in the fourth inning, the first homer by a Braves pitcher since losing the universal designated hitter. It was Ynoa’s second consecutive multi-hit game.

“I surprised myself with the home run,” Ynoa said via team interpreter Franco Garcia. “But thank God that as far as the pitching was concerned, everything went according to plan.”

3. For the second time in three games, the Braves had a four-run first inning. Marcell Ozuna and Austin Riley each blasted two-run homers. In the next frame, Freeman’s double tacked on two more for a 6-0 lead. The team totaled 18 hits, including five homers. Riley, Freeman and Ozzie Albies each flirted with a cycle.

“It just wasn’t our day Sunday,” Freeman said. “That is what good teams do, we put it right behind us. We won three and now we’re back to .500. The bats are coming alive. People are getting hits. Austin had four hits tonight. Ozzie I think had three. Things are starting to roll. Dansby (Swanson) has been really good the last couple games. ... We’ve put together some good at-bats, so hopefully we can come out tomorrow and get the sweep.”

4. The highlight of the second inning was Ronald Acuna, whose speed on the bases is something to behold. Acuna scored from first on Freeman’s double, flying around the bases, beating the throw and sliding hands-first into home for the Braves’ sixth run.

5. Perhaps the Braves should campaign to have the Cubs moved to the National League East. They’re 5-1 against Chicago and 7-11 against everyone else. They’ve outscored the Cubs 23-7 in the past three nights, shutting them out in consecutive games. Their dominance in the series has helped them get back to .500 at 12-12, which is good for a tie atop the division.

Stat of the game

7.67 (The Braves are averaging 7.67 runs per game during this Cubs series. The series began immediately after the Braves were held to one hit and no runs across two doubleheader games against Arizona on Sunday.)


“When we first started hitting in spring training, he was whiffing on balls in soft toss.” - Snitker on Ynoa’s bat

All smiles

Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo, who pitched in only one game previously in 2018, took the mound in the seventh. He retired Johan Camargo on a grounder and walked Acuna, bringing up Freeman. Rizzo and Freeman were smiling and laughing the entire at-bat, which ended with Rizzo striking out his buddy swinging. It was Freeman’s only out of the night.

Up next

The Braves will go for the four-game sweep Thursday. A victory would also give them a winning record for the first time this season. Bryse Wilson will start for the Braves, but they don’t plan to have him pitch deep into the game on three days rest. He threw 61 pitches in his last start.