OAKLAND, Calif. – Phew.

It’s a long season, but a sweep at the hands of Oakland – and before an off day – would not have felt good for the Braves.

Fortunately, they did enough to beat the Athletics, 4-2, at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on Wednesday. The Braves lost the series, but are heading into their off day with a win.

Five observations:

1. Through the first two games here, the Braves didn’t look like themselves. They couldn’t score. They picked up a shocking series loss.

Wednesday was more like it.

“It feels great to get a win,” Ozzie Albies said. “Happy flight, happy off day, everything, to go get three more in Arizona.”

Every win counts. But sometimes, wins before off days can help a team feel like there’s momentum before the next series.

This is the case here.

Yes, the Braves lost two of three. But they managed to pick up a victory before a trip to Arizona.

The win capped a weird stretch of days in which the Braves played on Sunday night before traveling to Oakland in the wee hours of the morning, then playing that evening.

“I’m gonna tell you what, these guys deserve this off day,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “I mean, this is a rough go here with all the teams we played coming out here. I’m not making excuses, but that did probably punch us in the gut a little bit with what we went through Sunday night getting out here and in this series.”

2. After Atlanta’s struggles scoring runs over the first two games, Albies breathed a sigh of relief when the ball he lined to right field got over the wall for a home run.

“Yes, definitely,” he said. “Definitely. Because all those runs mattered for the game today to get a W.”

In a scoreless game in the top of the fifth inning, Albies took Oakland starter James Kaprielian deep for a two-run shot. Later in the inning, Austin Riley, up with the bases loaded, plated a run by getting drilled with a pitch.

In 27 innings against Oakland – which has the worst team ERA by over a run – the Braves scored seven runs. Before this series, you would’ve thought the Braves could’ve scored that many runs, or more, in a single game.

Nonetheless, they did enough to win the finale.

“We had two losses before this win. Things happen,” Albies said. “We kept our heads up always and kept playing hard until we made 27 outs to win a game.”

3. The Braves’ runs might not have been enough had Jared Shuster not logged a third straight solid start.

At this point, he’s feeling much more comfortable in the majors.

“I think that definitely plays into it,” he said. “There’s nothing like being out there. I think the more experience you get, the more comfortable you get out there. But I think just some of the delivery stuff I’ve worked on has helped a lot.”

Shuster was charged with two runs over 5 1/3 innings. He walked four batters and only struck out one, but avoided the big inning.

This was another nice step for the lefty, who has allowed six earned runs over 17 frames across his last three starts.

“He’s started getting more confidence,” Albies said. “He knows what he has. He’s just got to go at it, attack the hitters and he can get a strikeout or (they) hit the ball to us.”

4. Closer Raisel Iglesias bounced back nicely.

After a rough outing on Tuesday, he earned his fifth save with a clean ninth inning. It capped a shutout from the bullpen.

Jesse Chavez relieved Shuster and earned the final two outs of the sixth. Then A.J. Minter and Nick Anderson each tossed a scoreless inning before the Braves handed the ball to Iglesias.

5. Thursday is Atlanta’s first off day since May 18. The Braves then had 13 games in 13 days, beginning with consecutive series (in order) versus the Mariners, Dodgers and Phillies.

Not an easy stretch.

The Braves went 5-5 against those teams. And in the 13 games in 13 days, the Braves went 6-7.

“We hung in there pretty good against a really tough part of our schedule,” Snitker said. “... These guys, they deserve a day off tomorrow, so hopefully they enjoy it.”

“It’s a long season,” Albies said. “We always stay positive. That’s what we do. We keep playing hard.”

Now it’s onto Arizona, where the Braves will play three games against the Diamondbacks, who are exceeding expectations.

Stat to know

15-14 - The Braves finished with a 15-14 record in the month of May. They haven’t had a losing month since May of last year, when they went 13-15.


“You gotta have a positive mindset no matter what, in general. Things are not going to go your way all the time, but when you do have a positive mindset, things can turn real quickly.” - Albies on staying positive after two tough losses to begin the series

Up next

Charlie Morton will start Friday’s opener in Arizona.