The Braves channeled their old selves Wednesday, rallying from a 3-0 deficit to defeat the Red Sox 5-3. Designated hitter Orlando Arcia hit a two-run walk-off homer off Ryan Brasier in the bottom of the ninth inning. The Braves and Red Sox split a two-game series at Truist Park.

The Braves and Red Sox split the two-game series.

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Here are five takeaways from Wednesday:

1. Maybe this is the spark the Braves needed. Arcia, who had one at-bat since April 25 entering the night, logged three hits, including the walk-off blast. Arcia has played sparingly for the Braves since joining the team last season. He’s made his case for more opportunities.

This marked Arcia’s first career walk-off homer.

“When I hit it, I felt like I hit it good, I just didn’t know if it was going to go or not,” Arcia said via team interpreter Franco Garcia. “Honestly, I’m just happy I was able to get it out and get the team a victory. That’s all we’re looking for.”

Asked whether this type of thrilling win could kickstart the Braves (15-17), Arcia added: “I think so, but I would also argue that any type of victory is motivating for any team. As long as we can get on a roll and start winning, I think that’ll be the biggest motivating factor.”

Manager Brian Snitker received questions, and some fan criticism, for starting Arcia at DH rather than catcher William Contreras. Snitker looked wise by night’s end.

2. The Braves’ bullpen came through with 3-2/3 scoreless innings. Collin McHugh, who relieved starter Ian Anderson, struck out Kevin Plawecki to end a bases-loaded jam in the sixth. It was a generous strike on a ball that was well below the zone, prompting Plawecki and Red Sox manager Alex Cora to get ejected for arguing strike three.

There weren’t any close calls afterwards for Braves relievers. A.J. Minter, Will Smith and Kenley Jansen combined for three no-hit innings.

“Phenomenal job,” Anderson said of the bullpen. “Collin did a great job coming in. It’s not an easy situation and he’s been coming in quite a few of those situations lately. He’s been doing it. I thought A.J. looked phenomenal. He’s been unbelievable all year. The stuff looks better, honestly, than it has the last couple years. That’s hard to do. He’s got a ton of confidence. Then Will and Kenley do their thing on the backend.”

caption arrowCaption
Braves designated hitter Orlando Arcia celebrates with third base coach Ron Washington after Arcia hit a two-run home run for a walk-off win 5-3 against the Boston Red Sox in the ninth inning at Truist Park on Wednesday, May 11, 2022, in Atlanta. (Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com)

Credit: Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com

Braves designated hitter Orlando Arcia celebrates with third base coach Ron Washington after Arcia hit a two-run home run for a walk-off win 5-3 against the Boston Red Sox in the ninth inning at Truist Park on Wednesday, May 11, 2022, in Atlanta. (Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com)

Credit: Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com

caption arrowCaption
Braves designated hitter Orlando Arcia celebrates with third base coach Ron Washington after Arcia hit a two-run home run for a walk-off win 5-3 against the Boston Red Sox in the ninth inning at Truist Park on Wednesday, May 11, 2022, in Atlanta. (Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com)

Credit: Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com

Credit: Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com

3. With outfielder Ronald Acuna sidelined, Travis Demeritte started in right field. He cranked a two-run shot off Boston starter Nathan Eovaldi to trim the Braves’ deficit to 3-2 in the third. It was Demeritte’s third home run this season and first this month.

“He just keeps going, having good at-bats,” Snitker said. “He’s playing all over the outfield. He’s taking advantage of an opportunity.”

Acuna didn’t play Wednesday due to groin soreness sustained during Tuesday’s contest. The Braves hope consecutive days off – the team doesn’t play Thursday – will be enough rest to get the All-Star leadoff man back in the lineup Friday.

4. Matt Olson doubled home the tying run in the third inning. Olson leads the majors with 14 doubles. He’s four above the next highest total in the National League (Freddie Freeman, Bryce Harper, Ketel Marte are tied with 10). One would figure, with Olson’s routine doubles off the wall, eventually those will turn into homers.

“He’s one of the ones who’ve hit a few balls that haven’t gone out where you’re like, ‘man,’” Snitker said. “He’s another one, he shows up every day and he’s consistent in what he does, in his work ethic.”

Third baseman Austin Riley also doubled in the sixth, snapping his 0-for-18 skid. The Braves lead the majors with 59 doubles.

5. The Braves continue controlling the basepaths. They’ve thrown out eight attempted base stealers this season. Catcher Travis d’Arnaud, who threw out Jackie Bradley in the third inning Wednesday, has successful nabbed seven of 20 attempted base stealers.

“He and (catching coach) Sal (Fasano) have been working,” Snitker said. “They’ve worked on his arm, staying behind the ball better, and he is. It’s as good as I’ve seen him throw. He’s getting rid of it quick but he’s really behind it well and that ball is really jumping out of his hand. They’ve been working on cleaning up his mechanics and it’s really helped. He’s throwing the ball really well. It’s firm and it’s on target, too.”

On the other side of the base-stealing equation, the Braves have stolen 15 bases, including 12 in their last 13 games. After stealing two bases Tuesday, shortstop Dansby Swanson swiped a bag in the third inning Wednesday. He scored on Olson’s double.

Braves 5, Red Sox 3

Stat (date) to know

Sept. 9, 2021 -- Wednesday marked the Braves’ first walk-off victory in the regular season since Joc Pederson did so last September. Wednesday was the team’s first walk-off win since it ended the first two games of the 2021 National League Championship Series against the Dodgers with consecutive walk-offs.

Quotable

“I’m going to sleep like a baby tonight.” – Arcia when asked how his walk-off homer felt

Up next

The Braves are off Thursday before opening a three-game series against the Padres this weekend. Max Fried (4-2, 2.68) will try to continue his strong start on Friday against Yu Darvish (3-1, 4.05).

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