Four-homer finale helps Braves to historic series win

June 18th, 2023

ATLANTA -- Before their charter flight leaves Atlanta, the Rockies might want to make sure none of the home runs the Braves hit over the past few days are still in orbit.  

was responsible for a majority of the balls Atlanta launched while making Truist Park play like Coors Field this weekend. So it was only fitting that he led the way with a two-homer performance that helped the Braves complete a four-game sweep and extend their win streak to six in their 14-6 win over the Rockies on Sunday afternoon. 

“Guys like [Rosario], when they get rolling, they can do a lot of damage,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said.  

Snitker could have been talking about any member of his lineup, including , who celebrated Father’s Day by producing the first five-hit game and the longest homer of his young career. He also experienced the thrill of catching the ceremonial first pitch from his father.

“I guess the baseball gods are on my side right now,” Harris said. “I’m glad to be able to do it in front of my dad on Father’s Day.”

From the Elias Sports Bureau:

• The 40 runs are tied for the third-most runs scored by Atlanta in a four-game set. Coincidentally, the Braves also scored 40 runs during a four-game home series against the Rockies in 2013. 

• The 28-run differential is tied for the second highest in a four-game set in franchise history. The Braves outscored the Astros by 30 runs in 2005 and outscored the Pirates by 28 runs in '21. They set another franchise four-game series mark by hitting 15 homers in that series against Pittsburgh.  

• This also marks the first time the Braves have tallied consecutive four-game sweeps against a single club since doing so against the Padres in 1974. 

“It’s crazy,” Snitker said. “It felt like we played four Coors Field games honestly.”

What made this dominant series even more impressive was that the Braves did this damage with Ronald Acuña Jr. going just 2-for-13 with five walks and no extra-base hits. Even without the team's top National League MVP Award candidate doing his thing, this is a deep and potent offense.

It has become even more formidable with the resurgence of Harris, who spent most of the season’s first six weeks either injured or restricted by a bulky knee brace. He was hitting just .165 with a .479 OPS on May 25. He has batted .326 with a .978 OPS in the 22 games that have followed.

Harris highlighted Sunday’s performance with a Statcast-projected career-long 453-foot shot off Matt Carasiti in the fifth inning. The Braves now have 16 homers that have traveled at least 450 feet. Just 72 games into the season, that is more than any non-Colorado team has hit since Statcast began tracking this data in 2015. The 2021 Rockies have the record with 19 such tracked homers.

“We're just seeing the ball well, and it’s hitting the right part of the bat,” Harris said. “We're not getting too many wall-scrapers. Those count too. When you hit it 460, those count the same, but I guess you get some cool points for hitting it a little further.”

Charlie Morton allowed the Rockies to score five runs in the top of the second, and erased that deficit with a three-run homer off Chase Anderson in the fourth to give Atlanta a 7-5 lead. The switch-hitting Albies struggled against right-handers during the season’s first six weeks. But he has hit .307 with seven homers and a 1.013 over his past 88 plate appearances from the left side.

Rosario has also been trending in the right direction while hitting .339 with eight homers and a 1.224 OPS in June. He got the Braves rolling in the series finale with a three-run homer in the second and provided insurance with a sixth-inning homer. He has homered in four straight games for the first time in his career and has two multihomer games this month.

“We trust each other, and we know we know anybody can go out and have a big day,” Harris said.