ATLANTA — The Braves don’t let losses linger. They quickly do something about them.
All-Stars Sean Murphy and Matt Olson homered and Austin Riley also connected as Atlanta bounced back from one of its rare losses over the past month by smashing the Cleveland Guardians 8-1 on Wednesday night.
Murphy hit a solo shot in the third inning off Cal Quantrill (2-6) and Olson blasted a 428-footer in the ninth as the Braves collected 19 hits and took the series finale after their winning streak was stopped at nine on Tuesday.
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“We’re really good at turning the page,” Atlanta manager Brian Snitker said after his team won its 10th straight series.
The Braves are really good at everything.
They homered in their 23rd straight game, baseball’s longest stretch of long balls this season. The Braves have 25 three-homer games — tying a record through 86 games — and lead the majors with 166 homers. They’re on pace to break the single-season record of 309 set by Minnesota in 2019.
Atlanta has won 18 of 20 and 25 of 29.
The Braves also improved to 7-0 in rubber games — when a series is tied and up for grabs. The last team to go unbeaten in rubber games with as many overall wins was the 1994 Montreal Expos, who went 9-0.
“That’s our goal: to win the series,” Snitker said. “We talk about that and I think we’ve won every one since Oakland (May 29-31). That’s guys’ mantra — win the series.”
The Guardians had plenty of chances, but couldn’t come up with timely hits and stranded 11 runners — two apiece in each of the first five innings. They finally pushed across a run with two outs in the ninth, earning a sarcastic cheer from their fans.
“The first three or four innings, I think we stranded eight,” manager Terry Francona said. “Some of those were with less than two outs. It would have been nice to crawl back in there a little bit and see if we could make it different, but we didn’t.”
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Braves starter Michael Soroka was staked to a 4-0 lead after one and was up 5-0 in the fifth. But the right-hander was pulled with two outs — after 99 pitches — and didn’t qualify for the win. He missed the past two seasons after tearing an Achilles tendon.
Michael Tonkin (5-2) relieved Soroka and worked 3 1/3 scoreless innings.
Quantrill allowed a career-high 11 hits in 4 1/3 innings, not what Francona was looking for with his bullpen needing a break.
The Braves struck early against Quantrill, scoring four in the first on four consecutive singles and Eddie Rosario’s two-run double. Three of the hits were not particularly hard, but found their way into the outfield.
“It’s incredible,” Soroka said of Atlanta’s lineup. “I mean every night. Second time now they’ve put up a crooked number for me right off the get-go. ... With a lineup like we have it’s about getting them back in the dugout.”
Murphy, who was acquired in an offseason trade, has been everything the Braves could have hoped for.
He leads all catchers with a .305 average, .977 OPS and 16 homers. He joined Javy Lopez (1999 and 2003) as the only Atlanta catchers with at least 15 homers and 50 RBIs in the first 86 games.
“That’s an unbelievable trade, getting a guy of that caliber,” Snitker said. “The person. The physical tools that the guy possesses. He’s been huge for us.”
The Guardians paid tribute to Hall of Famer Larry Doby on the 76th anniversary of him breaking the AL’s color barrier.
Doby’s son, Larry Jr., caught the ceremonial first pitch and the team showed a video highlighting the seven-time All-Star’s accomplishments.
Doby spent 10 seasons with Cleveland and helped the club win its last World Series title in 1948.
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Along with delivering the winning hit in the 10th inning Tuesday night for the Guardians, David Fry became just the third player in franchise history to play right field and catch in the same game.
Ron Pruitt (1979) and Ted Easterly (1910) also played both positions.
Braves: RHP Max Fried (elbow soreness) came through his second live batting practice session without any issues. Last year’s Cy Young Award runner-up hasn’t pitched for Atlanta since May 5. Snitker only said “good” when asked how Fried was feeling. He wouldn’t reveal the next step for the right-hander other than to say he’ll travel with the team to Tampa.
Guardians: 1B Josh Naylor (right wrist tendinitis) was not in the starting lineup for the second straight day. He took some swings in the batting cage before the game and was available to pinch-hit. Naylor is expected to play Friday against Kansas City.
Braves: Following an off day, begin a three-game series Friday against the Rays. RHP Charlie Morton (8-6, 3.57 ERA) will pitch the opener. Tampa has not yet named its starter.
Guardians: Rookie Tanner Bibee (5-2, 3.46 ERA) starts the opener of a four-game series against the Kansas City Royals and RHP Jordan Lyles (1-11, 6.68 ERA).
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