ARLINGTON, Texas – The Braves needed this.

They needed to see their comeback efforts turn into a victory. They needed a positive end to a difficult road trip. They needed a happy flight into an off day.

The Braves on Wednesday beat the Rangers, 6-5, at Globe Life Field to take two of three. The Braves still suffered their first losing road trip of the season, but this was a great win to end to it.

Five observations:

1. The Braves’ clubhouse is usually pretty loose. They like to have fun. They have a good blend of young players and veterans. They have multiple leaders.

And after this win, you could feel the positive vibes in the room.

In baseball, few things are better than winning the final road game before an off day. In this case, Wednesday’s comeback – in which the Braves trailed by two runs heading to the eighth inning – helped Atlanta forget about the weird weekend in Toronto.

“Better than the alternative, I guess,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said of this victory. “I mean, yeah, it was a rough trip. Shoot, the worst game we played, we gave ourselves a chance to win, really. You have those times over the course of a season. You just got to keep fighting through them and eventually you get back to where you want to be.

“The way the trip was and went, this last one was big.”

Ronald Acuña Jr. led off the eighth inning with a walk and stole second base. Ozzie Albies drove him in with a single. Then Austin Riley, who has struggled, tied the game by lacing a double that scored Albies.

In the ninth, Orlando Arcia blasted a go-ahead homer. Raisel Iglesias slammed the door.

The Braves suffered a sweep in Toronto, but the games were close. They responded by snagging a series from a surging team.

“Throughout a season; you’re going to go through the ebbs and flows of baseball,” Riley said. “Knowing that we can, (with) one swing of a bat be right back in a game, it’s huge. Obviously we would’ve liked the road trip to go a little bit better than it did, but taking two out of three against a first-place team, that’s good.”

2. In big moments, Arcia seems to shine brightest.

“He’s a guy that you feel really good when he’s up there, that’s for sure – whether it’s big singles or homers or whatever,” Snitker said. “And the plays he’s making have been just phenomenal, still.”

This blast was the third go-ahead homer of his career to occur in the ninth inning or later. It continued a familiar theme: He’s showing much more with the bat than fans may have expected to see.

His teammates are enjoying it.

“From a player standpoint, he’s playing great baseball,” Riley said. “And (as) a teammate, he’s just unbelievable. He comes every day, works hard, he’s bought in. I love him over there at shortstop. It’s been fun to see him have success.”

3. Let’s just allow Spencer Strider to describe Acuña.

“He’s the best player I’ve ever seen, so I don’t know what else there is to say,” Strider said. “I don’t think you can really do it justice. He’s the best player in the game right now.”

Acuña certainly is on an MVP pace. He’s a nightly highlight package.

He homered in the sixth inning on Wednesday, his fourth straight game with a home run. This is tied for the second-longest homer streak of his career – he went deep in five straight games in 2018.

It speaks volumes about Acuña when his home run only travels 429 feet and you’re not impressed.

“You catch yourself on the edge of the bleachers watching every pitch, because every swing, you think something magical is going to happen,” Riley said.

4. Riley’s game-tying RBI was one for the “He Really Needed That” category.

Entering Wednesday, Riley was batting .190 since April 19. He’s had success in a couple spurts, but not consistently.

“Boy, he needed that,” Snitker said. “That was really big. And that’s good. We’re staying right in games and all. We’re gonna get all of ‘em hitting again.”

5. Perhaps the best part of this win?

It came on a night when Strider didn’t have his best. He allowed four runs over five innings, and said he didn’t compete well.

“Sometimes, you don’t feel great,” Strider said. “You sort of put a limit on how you compete or what you’re doing out there. I didn’t feel great. It doesn’t matter, you don’t always feel good. You got to figure out how to get outs. There’s multiple ways to do that. Sometimes, you got to figure it out. I’ll do that next time.”

Stat to know

27-16 - Some perspective after a rough trip: At 27-16, the Braves still own the National League’s best record.


“That’s huge. Definitely a better taste in our mouths than (losing the series). Get to go back home and have an off day, regroup and hopefully pick it right back up.” - Strider

Up next

The Braves are off on Thursday. On Friday, Bryce Elder will start the series opener versus the Mariners, which begins at 7:20 p.m. and will be on Apple TV+.