Brian Snitker was met with loud cheers and applause as he walked through the hallway into the Braves’ postgame presser.

“Now that’s more like it,” Snitker joked, smiling.

Yes, there were more fans than usual in the field-level tunnel because of a postgame concert, but Snitker wouldn’t have been cheered as loudly after a loss. Instead, the Braves avoided the sweep and snapped their four-game losing streak, beating the Diamondbacks 7-5 on a late, go-ahead three-run home run by Austin Riley.

Here are five observations:

1. Riley had been struggling through the All-Star break, batting .180 in the nine games before the Arizona series. He switched his approach going into the off-day Monday, looking to go out there and have more fun.

The early results are in: It’s working.

In three games against the Diamondbacks, Riley hit four home runs and drove in 11. His first three homers came in losses, but his fourth, a three-run shot in the eighth inning, gave the Braves a 6-5 lead.

“I feel like all year I’ve been fighting myself, trying to get comfortable out there,” Riley said. “I’ve felt like I get comfortable for four or five days and then it’s back to square one. … Hopefully (the new approach is) going to allow me to keep this thing going.”

2. Matt Olson had struggled in the field in the first two games of the series, leading him to take ground balls on the field before Wednesday’s finale. He played a clean game at first base, but his bigger contribution was at the plate, where he hit home runs in the seventh and eighth innings.

“He’s got a great way of turning the page,” Snitker said. “... This is far from a perfect game that we’re playing. It’s hard to play this thing perfect. I think Matt understands that, (and) he understands how good he is.”

Olson’s first homer brought the Braves within a run of the Diamondbacks. His second gave them a valuable cushion. He said he didn’t put any added pressure on himself.

“Same approach, same stuff,” Olson said. “I was able to get the barrel on a couple and they left.”

3. All 12 runs came in the final six half-innings. The game was billed as a pitchers’ duel between All-Stars and Cy Young candidates Spencer Strider and Zac Gallen, and both delivered, especially early on.

Strider held the Diamondbacks scoreless until the seventh inning. He was sharp early, at one point striking out six consecutive Arizona hitters.

Gallen somehow was better, pitching a perfect game through the first 5-1/3 innings. Shortstop Orlando Arcia broke through with a solo home run in the sixth.

“There’s a reason he started the All-Star game,” Snitker said of Gallen. “He’s having a great year. But he’s sitting over there saying the same things that we’re saying (but) about Spencer, right now, honestly. That was a really good pitching matchup to watch.”

4. Strider’s outing was marred by his final frame. Up 1-0 in the seventh, he walked the leadoff hitter and hit the second. Designated hitter Dominic Canzone homered to give Arizona a 3-1 lead, then third baseman Emmanuel Rivera followed with a homer of his own. Strider was pulled after pitching six innings, allowing four hits and four runs. He struck out 13.

Despite the great start, Strider was upset postgame.

“My job is to go out there and, we get the lead, I’ve got to be lights out,” Strider said. “Right away, I gave it back up. … We get a lead, especially in a game like that, I’ve got to be able to hold it.”

Strider pitched well enough to give his team a chance to win, but he didn’t give himself any credit for helping snap the losing streak.

“I certainly wouldn’t ride home into the sunset with the credit on my shoulders,” Strider said. “I think it just shows the fight this team has.”

5. Players and fans did their best to beat the heat all game. First pitch was at 12:20 p.m., and temperature reached 94 degrees. With humidity, it felt like triple digits.

Snitker laughed when he was asked how he kept cool.

“I didn’t,” Snitker said. “I just wanted myself to sweat and be miserable.”


“Holy cow. … That’s what keeps us coming back” – Snitker, on Strider’s stuff

Stat to know:

189 – Spencer Strider’s 13 strikeouts Thursday increased his major league-leading total to 189. Far behind in second is Toronto’s Kevin Gausman, who has 153. In the National League, the closest is San Diego’s Blake Snell, who has 143.

Up next:

The Braves travel to Milwaukee for a three-game weekend set with the Brewers. Friday night’s matchup starts at 8:10 EST and features Michael Soroka (1-1, 5.40 ERA) against Freddy Peralta (6-7, 4.41).