CINCINNATI (AP) — Matt Olson hit a go-ahead three-run homer in the sixth inning and the Atlanta Braves held on for another wild 7-6 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Sunday.
The Braves, who snapped the Reds’ longest winning streak in 66 years at 12 games with a 7-6 win on Saturday, have won 17 of their last 20.
“That was a good series, against a really good ballclub, in my opinion,” Braves third baseman Austin Riley said. “I felt like I played three football games, three longer games. To come out with two (wins) in those is nice.”
The Reds had runners on first and third in the ninth when Raisel Iglesias got Kevin Newman to roll into a game-ending double play. It was Iglesias’ 11th save.
The game was played before another sellout crowd of 40,140. A combined 126,724 fans attended the weekend series between first-place teams.
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“I don’t know that I’ve ever been this exhausted after a series before,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “Fans got their money’s worth in this series. They saw some great baseball, exciting, the whole thing. The hottest team in the National League, we took the series. That’s good.”
There were 19 home runs hit in the series.
“Games like that, when you lose them are, it’s hard to swallow,” Reds manager David Bell said. “Because you fight back so hard. Honestly this team does it more than any team I’ve ever been around.”
The Reds lost despite a big day from Matt McLain, who went 4 for 5 with three doubles, a homer and five RBIs. McLain is the first Reds rookie to have four extra-base hits in a game since Chris Sabo in 1988.
“Sometimes I get too swing happy, but I was trying to get a pitch in my zone,” McLain said. “I really need to get back to that. It sucks that we lost the series. It was a good atmosphere to play in.”
Reds rookie Levi Stoudt was recalled from Triple-A to start Sunday’s game when scheduled starter Ben Lively was placed on the injured list with a pectoral muscle strain.
Stoudt held the Braves at bay until the third.
Michael Harris II tripled and scored the Braves’ first run on Ozzie Albies’ sacrifice fly. RBI singles by Sean Murphy and Marcell Ozuna made it 3-0.
McLain doubled and scored the Reds’ first run. He doubled in two more runs in the fourth to tie it at 3.
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Charlie Morton (7-6) needed 103 pitches to get through five but left with the score tied. Morton was making his 21st career start against the Reds.
“I’ve played against them for a while and seen the ups and downs,” Morton said. “It’s fun to come here and see the stadium like this, the city like this. To watch them fight back, it says a lot about that team.”
Olson’s two-out, three-run shot in the sixth on an 0-2 pitch from Ian Gibaut put the Braves ahead 6-3. The opposite-field homer impressed his Braves teammates.
“I thought it was a good swing, then I went back and looked at it, and it was four balls above the zone at 97,” Riley said. “I’m going to take some notes. That was impressive. I need to get on whatever program he’s on.”
McLain’s homer leading off the seventh and his two-run double in the eighth got the Reds within a run. But for the second straight night, the Reds’ rally fell short.
“That team’s going to have a fun summer here,” Snitker said. “I’m glad we don’t see them anymore. Or the next time we see them (in the playoffs) it’d be OK.”
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Randy Wynne (0-1) took the loss in his major league debut. Wynne, 30, spent three seasons pitching in independent leagues and was working in a lumberyard when he was signed as a minor league free agent in 2019.
“A lot of adrenaline coming into the game, a ton of people out there,” Wynne said. “It’s a dream come true. The only thing that would have made it better was a dub.”
Braves: Murphy returned to the lineup on Sunday for the first time since injuring his right hamstring. He had made one pinch-hit appearance since June 17.
Reds: Lively (pectoral muscle strain) will have an MRI in the next day or so to evaluate his injury, which could be more serious that initially thought, according to manager David Bell. ... RHP Derek Law (right flexor mass strain) was sent to Single-A Dayton on a rehabilitation assignment.
RHP Spencer Strider (8-2, 3.93) will start for the Braves when they open a six-game homestand against the Twins on Monday.
LHP Brandon Williamson (1-0, 5.40) goes for the Reds in the opener of a three-game series in Baltimore on Monday.
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