Dansby Swanson has four hits as Braves’ offense comes alive in win over Phillies

Braves shortstop Dansby Swanson gets five from Matt Olson after scoring on a wild pitch and a throwing error by the Philadelphia Phillies to take a 5-4 lead during the fifth inning.    “Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@ajc.com”

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

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Braves shortstop Dansby Swanson gets five from Matt Olson after scoring on a wild pitch and a throwing error by the Philadelphia Phillies to take a 5-4 lead during the fifth inning. “Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@ajc.com”

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

In an 8-4 win over the Phillies on Wednesday at Truist Park, the Braves’ offense proved it is still the dangerous unit we’ve come to know in recent seasons.

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Atlanta is 21-23. Here are five observations:

1. The Braves hadn’t scored eight runs since their win over the Brewers on May 8, when they had nine. This performance seemed encouraging.

They drove in teammates who were in scoring position. They scored five two-out runs. Everyone contributed.

Eight different Braves – all starters except Travis Demeritte – collected hits in the win. Five different Braves drove in a run.

“It’s huge,” Austin Riley said. “I think we’ve been waiting for it for a while now. Guys are putting up very competitive at-bats, one through nine, so it was very good. All-around good ballgame.”

Of the two-out runs, manager Brian Snitker said: “That’s huge, when you start knocking runs in with two outs. Because two-out hits are hard to get. When you can start doing that, that’s about as good of a building block as you can have.”

With Ronald Acuña day-to-day with a Grade 1 strain of his right quad, the others will need to step up.

2. Entering this game, the Braves were No. 23 in the majors with a .232 batting average with runners in scoring position. Their .647 on-base plus slugging percentage (OPS) in those spots ranked 25th.

Wednesday must have felt good.

The Braves collected three hits with men in scoring position, which helped them bury the Phillies. This game could help them substantially going forward.

“Yeah, no doubt. Very much so,” Riley said. “It builds that confidence. Us as players, there’s nothing more that we want to do than get the job done with runners in scoring position, and to finally see some success, see balls finding holes and stuff like that, it builds a lot of confidence.”

In the second inning, Ozzie Albies hit a two-run single and Dansby Swanson drove in another with a single. In the seventh, Orlando Arcia smacked a run-scoring double.

3. Over the last month, Swanson has been the Braves’ best hitter (among those with enough at-bats to qualify statistically).

In Wednesday’s win, he went 4-for-5 with a home run and two RBIs. He’s batting .316 with a .912 OPS in May after slumping to begin the season.

“Obviously, playing well is nice,” Swanson said. “The biggest thing that I’ve learned so far in my career is to stay driven and focused on the process. I know it’s become such a cliché saying in sports these days, ‘Just trust your work, trust your work.’ Just kind of was able to sit down and tell myself that the goal is to be the best version of Dansby Swanson, both on and off the field, and not necessarily just have it be the results. Keeping my heart and brain in that spot has really paid dividends, and that’s just how I’m going to keep rolling.”

4. In the fifth inning, three Phillies missed the same baseball within five seconds. It allowed Swanson to score from first when there should’ve been a play at second.

Phillies catcher J.T. Realmuto kept Jose Alvarado’s wild pitch in front of him, but Swanson took off for second. Realmuto fired a throw to second. It was a tad high, but the second baseman missed it. The shortstop behind him also missed it. And then it got by the center fielder, who had charged in to field it.

“Just knowing to be aggressive on balls in the dirt, obviously,” Swanson said. “A guy like Alvarado, he’ll throw a few in the dirt in terms of just his breaking balls and stuff. Was just on alert, and read the ball down out of hand, took second, and once I saw the ball in the outfield, started to make my way, and then saw it go through his legs and I just cruised on home.”

After Swanson scored to give the Braves the lead, Riley sent a 410-foot solo homer into the seats in left-center field.

5. Charlie Morton didn’t have his best game, as he only lasted 4 1/3 innings and allowed four runs.

Luckily, Spencer Strider continued a sensational rookie season with 2 2/3 scoreless frames. He struck out five, and his ERA is now 2.22.

Braves 8, Phillies 4

Stat to know

3 - With Wednesday’s performance, Swanson has three four-hit games in his career.

Quotable

“I don’t think anyone’s ever doubted the ability of our guys. I feel like we’ve finally started to see some of the results show up, just some of the work we’ve been putting in. Because we obviously weren’t satisfied with the way the season started, either. Getting everyone going and rolling is obviously a nice thing.” - Swanson on the offense potentially coming around

Up next

Braves righty Kyle Wright faces Phillies righty Aaron Nola in Thursday’s series finale, which begins at 7:20 p.m.