Braves tie Atlanta-era franchise record with 21st win in June

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

PHILADELPHIA – The Braves on Wednesday defeated the Phillies, 4-1, in a complete victory. Atlanta won the series and will look for the sweep on Thursday.

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Here are five observations on the Braves (44-32):

1. These Braves have won 21 games in June, which is tied for the Atlanta-era franchise record for most wins in a calendar month. The club, which has achieved the feat four times, last did it in June 2002.

“It’s just how they kind of hung in there and allowed themselves to get it going,” manager Brian Snitker said of what’s most impressive about this group. “I think we all thought we were capable of it coming out of spring training. Didn’t happen the way we wanted probably, took a little longer, but the guys never altered their work, the consistency of their work, the energy with which they play. They went about it in a very professional way to allow themselves to get to this point and have the month they had.”

Asked his takeaway, Kyle Wright brought up a sensational rookie.

“I don’t think he gets enough credit, but it’s kind of hard to say that Michael Harris hasn’t been a big piece of that,” Wright said. “I feel like as soon as he came up here, he kind of changed the whole complexion of our team, if you will. He’s that spark plug, he plays great defense, he’s mature beyond his years. I don’t want to say it’s completely him, but the correlation is there.”

2. June – even the end of it – is a bit early to watch the standings. However, you couldn’t help but notice something.

With their latest win, the Braves are only three games behind the first-place Mets. The last time the Braves were this close to New York?

April 18.

Yes, a full two-plus months.

“I think that’s why every game’s important I think, but at the same time you don’t want to panic or put too much pressure on yourself too early,” Wright said. “I feel like our focus is here with us and I feel like we’re a good team. We believe that every time we take the field, we have a chance to win.”

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3. For Wright, this was more like it.

He had allowed nine runs on 21 hits over his last two starts. But he didn’t feel like he pitched too poorly.

In the Braves’ latest win, the results matched up with how he felt. He tossed seven innings of one-run baseball versus a potent lineup.

“He’s come a long way,” Snitker said. “And we gave him a lot quick, too, in his career. We forced a lot on him probably before he was ready for most of it. But he’s matured, he’s figured himself out.”

The Phillies only collected three hits. Their only run versus Wright came on a solo home run in the third inning. Wright retired 10 of the final 11 Phillies he faced as he completed a 98-pitch outing.

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

4. With Kenley Jansen out, the Braves are having to adjust how they handle ninth innings. This is not always easy.

What makes it a bit easier: An offense that adds onto a lead with insurance runs.

The Braves entered the top of the seventh inning up a run and left it leading by three. Both runs came with two outs.

Adam Duvall swung at the sixth pitch from Phillies starter Ranger Suarez, a 94-mph fastball up and a bit in, and put it into the seats for a 402-foot solo shot. Two batters later, the left-handed hitting Harris, facing lefty reliever Jose Alvarado, hit a run-scoring single.

“The goal is always to tack on runs as you go, just to give you some breathing room” Duvall said.

These runs allowed the Braves’ arms to breathe a bit. Jesse Chavez pitched a scoreless eighth inning and Will Smith earned the save with a clean ninth.

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

5. Matt Olson entered this game on pace for 89 extra-base hits this season. Then he doubled two more times.

With 43 extra-base hits, Olson is tied with Paul Goldschmidt for the NL lead. Those two rank third in baseball in extra-base hits.

Olson leads the majors with 31 doubles, which is five more than the next player in that category.

The Braves’ franchise record for extra-base hits is 92, set by Hank Aaron in 1959.

Braves 4, Phillies 1

Stat to know

88 - The Phillies’ average exit velocity on 20 balls in play versus Wright was 88 mph, meaning the righty held the opponent to lots of soft contact.

Quotable

“I think he’s just showing his maturity and the confidence. I see a totally different guy, and I’ve seen that all year. And it’s really good to see because with his arsenal and what he’s got, he should be a very effective pitcher in this league for a long time.” - Snitker on Wright

Up next

Ian Anderson goes against Phillies right-hander Aaron Nola in Thursday’s series finale, which begins at 6:05 p.m.