The night ended even more forcefully than it began for the Braves' offense: with back-to-back home runs by Brian McCann and Ozzie Albies in the eighth inning. That marked the seventh time this season the Braves had hit back-to-back homers.
Between them, catcher McCann and second baseman Albies — the Nos. 7 and 8 hitters in the deep Atlanta batting order — went 6-for-8 with six RBIs and four runs scored. McCann was 3-for-3, raising his average to .303, with two walks, two RBIs and two runs scored. Albies was 3-for-5, raising his average to .286, with four RBIs and two runs scored.
“I’ve been fortunate to play with some really good players, and this lineup stacks up with the best of them,” McCann, a 15-year MLB veteran, said after the game. “This is fun.”
With his three hits and two walks, McCann enjoyed his fourth career game of reaching base five or more times, all with the Braves. It was his first such game since June 12, 2009.
The Braves’ 90 runs in their past 11 games are the most they have scored in an 11-game period since 2006. They have won 10 times in the current 11-game stretch.
“We’re so talented from top to bottom, and we show up every night,” McCann said. “We don’t give an at-bat away. This is a special team.”
The Braves scored two runs in the first inning and three in the fifth inning Monday, but they led by only a 5-3 margin entering the bottom of the seventh. Then they erupted for four runs in that inning and three more in the eighth to blow the game open.
“It’s tough to come in here and face our lineup and our team whenever we get all three (facets) going,” said right fielder Nick Markakis, who had two hits and two RBIs. “... We’re in a good place right now, and we’ve just got to stay in that lane.”
Braves starting pitcher Mike Soroka pitched the first six innings, allowing three runs on six hits, and won his eighth consecutive decision. He was lifted from the game after just 68 pitches (49 strikes) because of a 15-minute rain delay. Manager Brian Snitker noted that after accounting for the the delay and the bottom of the sixth inning, Soroka would have gone at least 30 minutes between trips to the mound.
“I think every chance we get to maybe cut it short, that’s not a bad thing for him going forward with the long season,” Snitker said. “I just didn’t feel there was any point in pushing him right there.”
“If the rain delay didn’t happen, he probably would have gone nine tonight,” McCann said of Soroka.
But the story of this night, as of so many recent nights for the Braves, was the offense.
“Everything’s just hard-hit baseball after hard-hit baseball,” an appreciative Soroka said of the Braves’ hitting. “It’s contagious.”
“Pretty rare,” Snitker said of an offense having everyone clicking at the same time, as this one currently does. “You don’t see that very much. You just kind of ride it while you can, because you never know in this game.
“Go back out and try to do it again tomorrow.”
The opposing pitcher Tuesday night will be the Mets’ Jacob deGrom, last year’s National League Cy Young Award winner.