Rookie outfielder Austin Riley is still looking for the form that made him a potent force in the Braves’ lineup after making his big-league debut earlier this season.
Riley went 0-for-4 with a strikeout Wednesday and finished the Brewers series 2-for-11 as his lengthy slump continues.
After posting a .356 average with a 1.143 OPS through his first 15 games, Riley has slashed .212/.275/.720 in 40 games since, including .175 since the start of the month with two home runs, six RBIs and a .569 OPS.
“He’s going through some growing pains right now,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “They have video on him and he’s working and it’s probably as much a mental thing as anything else; just staying with his approach and the confidence in what he’s got going on.”
“We watched Ozzie (Albies) go through that last year. It’s the same-type thing. He’s an intelligent kid. He has a great baseball feel. When he came here, and as good as he was doing, I figured at some point in time he’s going to have to go through this and it’s going to make him a better player for it.”
Despite those struggles, Snitker still has plenty of confidence in Riley.
“Any time he’s up there, he’s capable of doing something big,” Snitker said. “You’ve got to just be patient and kind of grow with him. Allow them their chance. And, he’ll keep working and studying and learning. He’s got a good feel and good instinct and all that. It’s not anything that you didn’t expect him to go through.”
Donaldson stays hot: Josh Donaldson tied a season-high with four RBIs and hit his 22nd home run of the season Wednesday, a two-run shot in the eighth inning of Junior Guerra.
Over his past seven games, Donaldson is 9-for-25 (.360) with five home runs, 12 RBI and a 1.467 OPS.
“I feel pretty good at the plate right now," said Donaldson, who has reached base in 14 consecutive games, also trying a season high.
Handling Hiura: Rookie second baseman Keston Hiura, Milwaukee's top prospect coming into the season, torched the Braves during the series, going 8-for-11 with three doubles, a triple, a home run, four runs scored, four RBIs and three walks -- one of them intentional.
“He's one of those young kids I’ve seen in this league that they’re making busts of for the Hall of Fame (after early success),” Snitker said. “My gosh, that kid can really hit. I know our people liked him when he came out. His timing and how get gets ready ... You can tell he's a hitter.”
Milwaukee selected Hiura with the ninth overall selection in the 2017 MLB Draft, four picks after the Braves took right-hander Kyle Wright, who became the first player from that draft to make his big league debut on Sept. 1 of last season.
Wright, the team's No. 2 prospect according to MLBPipeline.com, went 0-2 with a 7.07 in three starts for the Braves and 7-4 with a 4.86 ERA in 14 starts for Triple-A Gwinnett this season.
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