The bottom of the first inning seemed normal enough on Wednesday night in Atlanta. After Braves leadoff man Ronald Acuña Jr. drew a walk, Marlins starter Pablo López retired the next three batters, and the game went to the second inning in a scoreless tie.
But after that, it quickly became a historically high-scoring night.
The Braves broke out with an 11-run second, their first inning with at least that many runs scored since they plated 11 on April 7, 2004, against the Mets. That would have been enough, but it didn’t stop there -- not by a long shot.
By the time it was all over, the Braves had battered their way to a 29-9 victory over Miami, making a spirited run at the modern MLB record for runs scored in a game. The National League East leaders came up one run short, settling for the NL record, but here are all of the mind-blowing facts you need to know about their rocket-fueled performance.
Making a run at the Rangers
1) The Braves fell just one run short of tying the modern record (since 1900) for runs scored in a game, set when the Rangers defeated the Orioles, 30-3, in the first game of a doubleheader on Aug. 22, 2007, at Camden Yards. Amazingly, there are at least two direct links from that game to Wednesday’s. Atlanta third-base coach Ron Washington was managing the Rangers back in 2007, while Atlanta outfielder Nick Markakis -- who was on the bench Wednesday -- was the Orioles’ starting right fielder in the record-setting contest.
2) The Braves set a modern record (since 1900) for an NL team, passing the 1929 Cardinals, who beat the Phillies, 28-6, on July 6, 1929. The all-time NL (and MLB) record was set on June 29, 1897, when the Chicago Colts (now the Cubs) blew out the Louisville Colonels, 36-7.
3) The Braves’ 29 runs were a franchise record for the Modern Era, but the Braves have been playing baseball a lot longer than that. Overall, 29 runs is tied for the second-most by the Braves franchise in a game. In 1883, as the Boston Beaneaters, they scored 30 runs on June 9, then scored 29 on June 20.
4) The 29 runs were the most for Atlanta since it defeated the Marlins, 20-3, on Oct. 5, 2001, in a game that had been rescheduled from Sept. 14 of that year due to the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Overall, the Braves have scored 20 or more runs in a game seven times in the Modern Era.
5) There’s a common saying that any baseball game can bring something nobody has ever seen before -- even after well over 100 years of MLB history. This game was a good example. It was the first game to finish with a score of 29-9 -- MLB’s first never-before-seen score in more than two decades.
Duvall drives homer explosion
1) Atlanta left fielder Adam Duvall contributed in a big way, smashing three home runs -- for the second time in seven days. He became the first player in Braves franchise history with multiple three-homer games. That’s in a career in a Braves uniform, not just a single season.
2) Duvall’s first three-homer game came on Sept. 2, giving him two such performances in both eight-day and eight-game spans. He’s the second player in the last 35 seasons with two three-homer games in an eight-game span, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, along with Nelson Cruz last year. But Cruz’s eight games were over a longer span of days than Duvall’s. The only player in Major League history with two three-homer games in a shorter span of days than Duvall is Doug DeCinces, who did so for the Angels on Aug. 3 and Aug. 8, 1982.
3) Duvall drove in nine runs on those three big flies, becoming the first player since the Nationals’ Mark Reynolds on July 7, 2018, to have a nine-RBI game. It also tied a Braves single-game record. Amazingly, that record was held by a pitcher, Tony Cloninger, who belted two grand slams and an RBI single while also throwing a complete game to beat the Giants on July 3, 1966.
4) Duvall became the first player in MLB history to hit a two-run homer, three-run homer and a grand slam in a game in that order.
5) Including Duvall’s three homers, the Braves launched seven on the night, accomplishing the feat for the fifth time in franchise history, and the first time since smashing a franchise-record-tying eight on May 26, 2008, in a 13-12 win over the Cubs at Wrigley Field. In that game, Edgar Renteria and Adam LaRoche each hit two homers, and Ryan Langerhans, Marcus Giles, Andruw Jones and Brayan Peña each went deep as well. The other occasion in which the Braves hit eight homers in a game was on Aug. 30, 1953, when the Milwaukee Braves beat the Pirates, 19-4, in the first game of a doubleheader at Forbes Field.
6) Eighteen of the Braves’ 29 runs came as a result of home runs. According to Elias, that ties an MLB record for most runs in a game coming via home run.
1) How wild a day was this in the Majors? On Wednesday afternoon in Detroit, the Brewers blew out the Tigers, 19-0, for the third-largest win in franchise history. And yet, Milwaukee did not end up with the biggest margin of victory of the day, thanks to Atlanta.
2) This is the second time in Major League history -- and first in the Modern Era -- that two teams have won by 19 or more runs on a single date. On July 4, 1884, Chicago beat Philadelphia, 22-3, in the National League, and Boston beat Kansas City by the same score in the Union Association.
3) The Brewers and Braves combined for 48 runs scored. That’s the most runs two teams have combined to score in different games, on the same day, since Sept. 10, 1891, according to Elias. Way back then, the Milwaukee Brewers -- a defunct franchise not related to the current Brew Crew -- beat the Washington Statesman, 30-3. On the same day, the Boston Beaneaters -- who later became the Braves -- defeated the Reds, 18-6.
What a difference a day makes
1) Just one day earlier, at the same ballpark, the Marlins had shut out the Braves, 8-0, behind six innings from rookie Sixto Sánchez. Now the Marlins are the first modern team to give up 29 more runs in one game than it did in the previous game. That edged the 2007 Orioles, who beat the Rangers, 6-2, in the game before they sustained the record-setting 30-3 loss.
2) On Aug. 30, the Marlins lost 12-7 to the Rays. But in the nine games between then and Wednesday, Miami allowed a grand total of 24 runs across 72 2/3 innings -- or five fewer than it allowed in just eight innings Wednesday.
3) This was, of course, the most runs the Marlins had allowed in a game in franchise history, as well as their widest margin of defeat. Previously, their record for runs allowed came in a 25-8 loss at Boston on June 27, 2003. Their largest defeat (19 runs) came in a 20-1 loss at Philadelphia on April 7, 2018.
4) López allowed seven runs in 1 2/3 innings, but it was reliever Jordan Yamamoto who ended up with the truly lopsided score line. Yamamoto allowed 13 runs (12 earned) on 11 hits and two walks in 2 2/3 innings, serving up four homers. Yamamoto joined the Royals’ Vin Mazzaro (May 16, 2011) as the only relievers in the past 75 years to allow at least 13 runs in a game.
Andrew Simon is a research analyst for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AndrewSimonMLB.
Manny Randhawa is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. Follow him on Twitter at @MannyOnMLB.
Sarah Langs is a reporter/editor for MLB.com based in New York. Follow her on Twitter @SlangsOnSports.