“It feels good, it really does,” Harris said of hearing the crowd of 42,075 cheer for him. “Getting up after sliding and doing the sword (celebration), it felt really good. And driving in two runs, giving us a lead, it’s a really good feeling, and it got our bats rolling from there on.”
This might have been Harris’ best major-league moment yet, a two-run triple that gave the Braves the lead in the fifth inning. It sparked Atlanta, which then rolled the A’s the rest of the way.
The 21-year-old Harris went 2-for-4 with a double and a triple.
In his short time in the majors, Harris has shown something: He belongs here.
“I was just coming up here and expecting to do what I did in the minors,” Harris said. “I feel like I’m doing pretty much the same thing, just feeling comfortable and going out there and trying to help us win. We’re on a streak, so you can’t ask for more.”
2. The A’s scored two runs in the top of the fourth inning.
After that, the Braves scored 13 unanswered runs.
It once looked as if this might be a slow night for the Braves’ lineup. Instead, Atlanta turned this into a thrashing.
“I feel like we kind of want (opponents to have) that sense of, ‘We’re playing the Braves today, we better have our A-game,’” said Ian Anderson, who started this game. “I felt like at the beginning of the season, it was like, ‘Hey, we’re playing the Braves today. We have a chance.’
“I think things are starting to turn around a little bit. Guys are playing with confidence. We’re making plays, making pitches, and the offense is coming alive.”
The Braves scored one run in the fourth inning, four in the fifth, one in the sixth and seven in the seventh.
3. In a seven-run seventh inning, the Braves batted around. Ozzie Albies and Adam Duvall, two hitters who have lacked power recently, hit home runs. Six different Braves collected hits, and four of them drove in runs.
“They’ve been working at it,” manager Brian Snitker said of his offense. “It’s just of them things, you just got to keep doing that because you just never know when it’s going to start hitting. I’m glad for the guys because they’ve worked their tails off to try and get there.”
Albies blasted a three-run shot that gave the Braves a nine-run lead. Duvall’s two-run homer, his second in his last three games, pushed the lead to 11 runs.
Austin Riley and Matt Olson also drove in runs with singles of their own.
4. In this game, Harris put multiple tools on display.
After hitting the triple, Harris sprinted at 29.3 feet per second, which ranks in the 98th percentile in the sport this season. He went from home to second in under eight seconds during that dash around the bases.
In the seventh inning, he legged out a double on a ball that is a single for almost anyone else. The right fielder had cut it off and slipped, so Harris went for second base.
Then there’s his arm. Ronald Acuña accidentally booted a tough ball off the wall as he ran to pick it up – it was ruled an error – but Harris immediately grabbed it and fired a throw to third. The runner was safe, but the throw never hit the ground and almost nabbed the opponent.
“He’s got great baseball instincts,” Snitker said. “I’ve been really impressed with that, just the instinct that he has.”
5. A couple weeks ago, the Braves entered a stretch against lesser competition.
Since May 27, they have played the Marlins, Diamondbacks, Rockies and now Athletics. They are 9-3 during that stretch and have not yet lost in June.
They now have four games versus the Pirates (24-30).
Stat to know
30 – Before Wednesday’s home run, Albies had not hit a homer in 30 games, the longest drought of his career.
“I feel like growing up, I was always playing against some of the top talent and playing up, higher levels above my age group. I feel like it prepared me for times like this when I’m really feeling comfortable and I feel like I belong.”– Harris on where his baseball instincts originated
Max Fried goes against Pittsburgh righty JT Brubaker in Thursday’s series opener, which begins at 7:20 p.m.