The Braves snapped their four-game skid largely thanks, once again, to the arm and bat of Huascar Ynoa. They defeated the Nationals 6-1 in the series opener Tuesday at Washington.

Here are five takeaways from Tuesday:

1. Ynoa was fantastic on the mound again, holding the Nationals to one run over seven innings. It was his first time pitching into the seventh inning. His slider prompted 20 swings, seven of which were whiffs. It also generated 13 called strikes.

“That was another really good performance,” manager Brian Snitker said. “Just the consistency of (the slider), he has a lot of confidence in it. The thing I really liked too is he worked in more changeups tonight. I think that’s going to be really good for him too as he continues to start. But the command of the strike zone he has with the fastball, the feel for that breaking ball. That’s a really good breaking ball. He’s throwing the ball really well. He’s come a long way and continues to improve.”

2. It was Ynoa’s offense that stole the show, however. After homering in his last outing, he one-upped himself, blasting a grand slam in the sixth inning. He became the first pitcher in Atlanta history to homer in back-to-back games.

“Wow, I’m super happy to hear that,” Ynoa said via team interpreter Franco Garcia. “I feel super grateful. I give all things to God because I feel like he’s helped me throughout this whole process. My mentality up there is just to get a hit. I’m feeling really grateful and happy.”

3. The numbers for Ynoa in his last three starts will draw comparisons with Shohei Ohtani and Babe Ruth. Pitching, Ynoa has allowed two earned runs on 10 hits over 18-1/3 innings in that span. He’s struck out 18 and walked five. Hitting, Ynoa is 5-for-8 with two homers, a double, six RBIs and three runs scored.

And that’s for an individual who not too long ago was whiffing in soft toss, according to Snitker.

“The hitting right now is working, it’s getting results,” Ynoa said. “I put a lot of work into my hitting going into camp this year. I don’t go into any of these at-bats trying to hit a home run. All I’m trying to do is get on base because that’s not where the danger is. The danger is facing (Ronald) Acuna next. You have Acuna and that’s who can hit the home runs. All I’m trying to do is get a hit, get on base and let the actual hitters do the rest of the damage.”

4. Interesting tidbit: Ynoa became the first Braves pitcher to hit a grand slam since Jaime Garcia did so against the Dodgers on July 21, 2017. Coincidently, Garcia and catcher Anthony Recker were traded to the Twins three days later for ... minor leaguer Huascar Ynoa.

5. Ynoa didn’t provide the only homer Tuesday. Acuna smacked a solo shot, becoming the first player to reach 10 home runs in the majors this season. It was the second homer of May for Acuna, who won National League player of the month for April.

“It feels good, but the most important thing is we got the win,” Acuna said via Garcia. “We came in with four losses in a row but today was a new game and a new series.”

Stat of the game

2 home runs (Ynoa became the first Atlanta Braves pitcher to homer in back-to-back games.)


“He’s going to have to learn to hit breaking balls, because I doubt he’ll see many fastballs here going forward.” - Snitker on Ynoa

Up next

Max Fried rejoins the Braves’ rotation Wednesday and will start against the Nationals. It will be Fried’s first outing since April 13, when he suffered a hamstring injury that sidelined him in recent weeks.

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