Braves notch 9th straight with sweep of O’s

August 22nd, 2021

BALTIMORE -- Rain fell for most of Atlanta’s series finale at Camden Yards, but it didn’t matter. The Braves knew they had business to take care of before returning home, which they will do riding a nine-game winning streak thanks to a 3-1 win over the Orioles on Sunday.

“We just take every game for what it is, and on to the next one,” said starting pitcher , who allowed just one run in 5 1/3 innings. “There's a little more bounce now, but I think guys are just locked into next game ... because we know how hard this game is.”

The club swept the Nationals, Marlins and Orioles during its nine-game road trip, surging ahead in the race for the NL East title. The Braves kept alive another active streak, a 13-game road win streak, which is tied for the fourth-longest in MLB since 2000.

“I always just get the feeling with these guys that they never underestimate anybody,” said manager Brian Snitker. “They come, they prepare and they play the game, regardless of where we're at. They're just so locked in on today's game ... which is a really good [trait]. It's just kind of that, 'Take care of business,' type thing every day.”

The Braves have won 16 of their last 18 games, taking over sole possession of the NL East for the first time all season. Atlanta (68-56) is five games ahead of Philadelphia (63-61), after the Phils also won on Sunday.

The club started the season cold, sitting five games under .500 on June 16. Since then, they own the fifth-best record in baseball (38-21). The team added a few outfielders to their roster at the Trade Deadline, including and .

“Those Deadline players have really helped,” said Snitker. “These guys have all made a big impact in what we've done. They've made our club better, deeper. With all the injury losses and everything, big guys that we've had go down, getting those guys has made a huge difference in our team.”

In the ninth-straight win, two of those new faces showed just how much power they add to this lineup.

In the top of the fourth inning, Soler smacked his 18th home run of the season, breaking the scoreless tie. Four batters later, Duvall knocked a two-RBI double, giving the Braves a three-run advantage.

“I felt this way at the Trade Deadline,” said general manager Alex Anthopoulos. “People asked me, ‘Why would you add?’ There were 60-plus games left at that time, it's a lot of games. … The standings can change 10 games from now [and] all of a sudden, you get hot like we have now. Or you get cold like we’ve been cold the majority of the year. It could change again. My biggest focus right now is, we worry about tonight's game. We have a lot of tough games coming and you can't take anybody for granted at this point.”

The upcoming homestand for the Braves won’t be a walk in the park, as they face the Yankees, Giants and Dodgers. For a team that has won many games they were "supposed to," Snitker reiterates that no win is guaranteed and that banking on records or standings will get you swept.

Atlanta has benefited from hot streaks, but it also knows that every other team has the chance to do the same. The skipper and players have both seen what their team is capable of doing -- as showcased by the road trip -- and will have a chance to measure where they are back at home.