MILWAUKEE – The Braves on Thursday won a game in dramatic fashion, then sent a little message on Friday.

They are fine.

They beat the Brewers, 6-4, at American Family Field. They received contributions from everywhere.

Five observations:

1. In the bottom of the first inning, William Contreras burned his former team when he scorched a run-scoring double off the wall.

In the top of the second, Orlando Arcia, also facing his former team, did him one better as he blasted a two-run shot off Freddy Peralta that gave the Braves a lead they never relinquished.

This played out like something manager Brian Snitker always says: The former team card never fails.

“Because their former team card struck first,” he said. “William damn near hit that one out to center. That’s two heavy former team cards. That force is strong, man, that former team card.”

Arcia is back in Milwaukee. Really, that’s nothing new. He’s been here as a Brave.

This time is different, though. Arcia is now an All-Star shortstop. He’s having a career year. He’s quieted doubters.

2. Called on to protect a two-run lead in the ninth inning, Kirby Yates quickly struck out two batters before issuing consecutive walks.

It set up an incredibly exciting (and excruciating, for fans) final battle.

Yates and Blake Perkins dueled for 11 pitches. Yates finally froze him with a slider.

“It’s been a while,” Yates said. “You compete. You don’t want to give in, you don’t want to lose the game, so you just go out there and compete. I think being in that situation many times before kind of helps you calm your nerves and just stay within your breath and don’t let the game speed up on you.”

Yates, who threw a season-high 32 pitches, has hurled 664 pitches this season. Only nine have been sliders, according to Baseball Savant. But catcher Sean Murphy called one here, and Yates liked the idea because, in a 2-2 count, he had a pitch with which he could play.

During the at-bat, Perkins smoked a line drive that could’ve tied it had it not gone foul.

“The one I swallowed my tongue on?” Snitker joked.

But Yates eventually ended the game.

Atlanta Braves' Austin Riley hits a two-run home run during the third inning of a baseball game against the Milwaukee Brewers Friday, July 21, 2023, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

3. Austin Riley has homered in four straight games. This one, a two-run shot in the third inning, gave the Braves a three-run lead.

He’s on one of his classic heaters.

“I was kind of waiting,” Braves starter Michael Soroka said. “I don’t want to jinx anything, but looking up at what he did this year without really hitting a hot streak until now is kind of scary, in a way – I think for other teams at least, it’s exciting for us given our lineup and where we’re at as a team. He’s capable of being as hot as any of them.”

Riley is first Braves player since Eddie Mathews to have at least five home runs and 13 RBIs in a four-game span.

4. At times, it looked like Soroka might soon unravel. He allowed two runs in the first inning. He served up a homer toward the end of his outing.

But the line said this: Four earned runs over six innings. And right now, with their rotation in its current state, the Braves will gladly take this.

“It’s just much more like myself, I felt like, going out there and throwing six innings,” Soroka said. “I felt like that was almost a given back in 2019. I (went) about six, seven every time out. You feel like you’ve done your job at that point. Coming out in the fourth or fourth or fifth inning doesn’t necessarily feel that good, even though sometimes you can come out unscathed.”

The first two batters doubled off Soroka in the first and Milwaukee scored its first run. The Brewers then plated another.

Then Soroka did not surrender another run until a two-run homer in the sixth inning. One batter reached in the third inning, but Soroka stranded him. Two Brewers reached base to begin the bottom of the sixth, but they stayed there.

5. “Thursday was pretty cool,” said Braves pitcher Allan Winans, whose call-up came then.

The Triple-A Gwinnett Stripers were working on pick-offs to second base. Using a video, manager Matt Tuiasosopo joked with Winans about something.

Then broke the news.

He will make his MLB debut Saturday.

It will be a heartwarming day for Winans and his supporters. Drafted by the Mets in 2018, Winans eventually became a minor-league Rule 5 Draft pick selected by the Braves in 2021. He has spent all this time in Triple A.

“Knowing that I’m here and I got into the locker room and played some catch and saw the stadium on the field and that kind of stuff, that calms the nerves for sure,” Winans said.

Stat to know

35-20 - The Braves are 35-20 against teams with a winning record, which is the best mark in the majors.


“It’s awesome. He’s had this job before. He let her go out there, I’ll tell you what. He just kept getting after it and got the save.” - Snitker on seeing Yates get the final out after a lengthy battle

Up next

The Braves’ offense will face right-hander Adrian Houser in a game that begins at 7:15 p.m. ET. It will air on FOX.

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