While complimenting the significant progress Austin Riley had made with his plate discipline and approach, Chipper Jones said, “You’ve got to crawl before you walk,” when asked about when the young third baseman might start showing more power again.
Five days later, Riley is sprinting through another impressive May stretch and the Braves are powering their way back toward the top of the National League East standings. A 7-1 win over the Pirates on Sunday afternoon concluded a power-packed, confidence-building series at Truist Park.
Riley tallied his second multihomer game of the series and of his career to back a strong seven-inning effort by Max Fried. Fried allowed just one run and received more than enough support from a Braves lineup that belted 15 homers in the four-game series. The Pirates have totaled just 30 homers all season.
With their powerful onslaught, the Braves increased their MLB-leading total to 78 home runs. No other club had more than 66 homers when Atlanta’s game concluded on Sunday. This 47-game total is just shy of the franchise record (82) which was set last year.
By taking the final three games of this series, the Braves find themselves one game below .500 (23-24) and within striking distance of the first-place Mets. Their rise back toward the top of the division standings has been spurred by a rotation that has produced a 2.35 ERA over the past 19 games.
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