Anderson, Freeman lead Braves to win over Brewers

Atlanta Braves' Ian Anderson pitches during the first inning of the team's baseball game against the Milwaukee Brewers on Saturday, May 15, 2021, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Aaron Gash)

Credit: AP

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Atlanta Braves' Ian Anderson pitches during the first inning of the team's baseball game against the Milwaukee Brewers on Saturday, May 15, 2021, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Aaron Gash)

Keeping with the theme, the Braves have answered a losing streak with a winning streak. They defeated the Brewers in Milwaukee 5-1 to win the series Saturday. They’ll have the chance to complete a sweep Sunday.

Here are five takeaways from Saturday:

1. The Christian Yelich-less Brewers, who have the lowest batting average in the NL, looked outmatched against Braves starter Ian Anderson. The 23-year-old held the Brewers hitless over six innings. Despite the success, Anderson’s command wasn’t at its best, which led to four walks, but he was nonetheless highly effective.

Milwaukee’s Daniel Vogelbach slapped a soft single for the Brewers’ first hit in the seventh. Anderson then surrendered a double to Pablo Reyes, ending his night. A.J. Minter limited the damage to one run.

Anderson almost certainly wouldn’t have gone much further even if the no-hit bid remained intact. He entered the seventh at 97 pitches. He threw 110 pitches (61 strikes), which was the highest total in his career and only the second time he’s thrown over 100 pitches in an outing (though he threw 99 pitches in two outings last year).

“I’ve always been one of those guys where the deeper into games you get, you maybe start throwing a little bit harder,” Anderson said. “I feel good. I like pitching deep into games like that. It was frustrating not being able to get the outs in that last inning but Minter did a great job.”

2. First baseman Freddie Freeman joined another exclusive list in Braves hierarchy. He hit a two-run homer in the second inning, which was the 250th of his career. He’s the sixth Braves player to reach that mark.

“It just means I’ve been around a long time,” Freeman said. “I’ve been told there are some nice names I joined with that in the Braves organization, so I’ll take it all in. But I’m just happy we won.”

The “nice names” Freeman referenced: Hank Aaron (733 homers in a Braves uniform), Eddie Mathews (493), Chipper Jones (468), Dale Murphy (371) and Andruw Jones (368).

3. Second baseman Ozzie Albies doubled home the Braves’ first run, extending his on-base streak to 18 games. Albies has hit safely in 17 of those contests. Albies added another double in the fourth inning, giving him 12 on the season, and a single in the ninth. His night could’ve been even better but Brewers outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. robbed Albies of a homer in the seventh.

Milwaukee Brewers' Jackie Bradley Jr. makes a leaping catch at the wall on a ball hit by Atlanta Braves' Ozzie Albies during the seventh inning of a baseball game Saturday, May 15, 2021, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Aaron Gash)

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Albies has awoken from his early season slumber. Before this run, Albies was hitting .164 with a .256 on-base percentage.

“He’s getting some right-handed at-bats and starting to do his damage,” manager Brian Snitker said. “We know what he’s capable of. That could be huge for us.”

4. Guillermo Heredia, back from the injured list, started in center field. He laced a double and also tracked down a deep fly ball to end the bases-loaded threat in the seventh. It was his first game since April 29.

5. The Braves’ up-and-down trend continues. They lost three consecutive games in getting swept by Toronto. It dropped them to 17-20. They’ve responded with two wins over the Brewers and can reach .500 again by completing the sweep.

Stat to know

5 (The Braves have won five consecutive road games. They swept the Nationals before their last homestand and have taken the first two in Milwaukee.)

Quotable

“You don’t set out for milestones. You set out for World Series championships.” - Freeman

Up next

Huascar Ynoa will have a chance to further lower his 2.23 ERA in Sunday’s finale against Milwaukee. The Brewers will start Freddy Peralta (3-1, 2.77), who pitched seven scoreless innings against the Cardinals in his last outing.

Milwaukee Brewers' Daniel Vogelbach reacts after striking out during the first inning of the team's baseball game against the Atlanta Braves on Saturday, May 15, 2021, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Aaron Gash)

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