The Atlanta Braves attempt to match the second-longest winning streak in franchise history when they visit the Washington Nationals on Wednesday in the finale of a three-game series.
The Braves have pounded 10 homers while winning the first two games of the series to stretch their run to 13. Finishing the sweep would allow Atlanta to equal the 14-game winning streak put together by the 2013 Braves.
Atlanta’s franchise record is 15 in 2000.
The Braves played Home Run Derby, with five long balls in each of the first two games. Travis d’Arnaud, Michael Harris II, Marcell Ozuna and Dansby Swanson hit two homers apiece while Orlando Arcia and Adam Duvall each hit one.
“We’ve been playing good baseball,” d’Arnaud said after hitting a three-run blast in Tuesday’s 10-4 victory. “We have a complete lineup. It’s hard to pitch to people when the bottom of the lineup is so dangerous.”
Tuesday’s win allowed Atlanta to match its third-longest streak. The Braves also won 13 games in 1982 and 1992.
A major factor in the winning streak has been the power game. Atlanta has smacked 32 homers during the stretch, including 17 over the past four games.
“It’s kind of our identity,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “We’re not a team that bunches hits. We hit homers. We are what we are.”
Harris and d’Arnaud each had three hits to pace Atlanta’s 13-hit attack on Tuesday.
Washington has dropped six of its last eight games.
It is uncertain if Nationals star Juan Soto will be in the starting lineup for the finale. He missed his first game of the season on Tuesday due to a right knee injury.
Soto was injured Monday after slipping in the Washington dugout and hitting the knee on the corner of the bench. X-rays were negative.
“He’s OK. He’s banged up a little bit,” Nationals manager Dave Martinez said. “With the knee, I think it was a good day to give him off. We’ve got a lot of games coming up this weekend. He hasn’t had a day off yet all year, so I wanted to give him a day.”
Washington also put right-hander Stephen Strasburg (ribs) on the 15-day injured list. The club has no timetable for the return of the 2019 World Series hero.
Atlanta placed second baseman Ozzie Albies on the 60-day injured list after he fractured his left foot in Monday’s game.
The Braves will call on right-hander Spencer Strider (2-2, 2.35 ERA) to keep the winning streak going.
The outing will be Strider’s fourth start in 15 appearances this season. He won his last outing when he gave up four hits over 5 2/3 scoreless innings against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday.
Strider, 23, gave up one run and three hits in 3 1/3 innings of relief against the Nationals on April 11.
Washington will counter with right-hander Erick Fedde (4-4, 4.87), who has traditionally struggled with the Braves.
Fedde is 0-4 with a 10.80 ERA in eight career appearances (seven starts) against Atlanta. He has served up 10 homers while allowing 50 hits in just 31 2/3 innings.
Ozuna (6-for-9) and Adam Duvall (7-for-15) each have hit two homers off Fedde. Austin Riley is 6-for-15 with two doubles.
Fedde, 29, beat the Milwaukee Brewers on Friday when he allowed three runs and four hits over 5 2/3 innings.
The Nationals could certainly use a long outing from Fedde after Erasmo Ramirez lasted just three innings in the opener and Jackson Tetreault pitched four on Tuesday.
Washington catcher Riley Adams said the club can’t let the past two nights creep into the thought process.
“You only have the game in front of you,” Adams said. “Now we’ve got to get ready for (Wednesday) and get prepared for that. That’s all we can really think about.”
–Field Level Media