OAKLAND -- A day after his defense helped preserve a lengthy no-hit bid, Braves outfielder Danny Santana did the damage with his bat and on the basepaths. The speedster was in the middle of Atlanta's offensive attack on Saturday, helping spark the Braves to a 4-3 victory over the A's.Santana
OAKLAND -- A day after his defense helped preserve a lengthy no-hit bid, Braves outfielder Danny Santana did the damage with his bat and on the basepaths. The speedster was in the middle of Atlanta's offensive attack on Saturday, helping spark the Braves to a 4-3 victory over the A's.
Santana also had some help from shortstop Dansby Swanson, who drove him home twice with a pair of doubles. Not bad from your No. 8 and No. 9 hitters.
"Dansby two big hits, Danny setting him up with the stolen bases," Atlanta manager Brian Snitker said. "That's good. Nice to see those guys come around like that."
On Friday, Atlanta starter Mike Foltynewicz carried a no-hitter into the ninth inning with the aid of Santana, who made some remarkable plays throughout the evening. On Saturday, Santana went 2-for-4 with a double, two runs scored, an RBI and three stolen bases.
Santana drove home the game's first run in the second, when he roped a double to the left-field gap to score Tyler Flowers. Santana's speed also played a part in the seventh, when he stole second and third before coming around to score on Swanson's double.
"It doesn't matter to me where they put me in the lineup," Santana said. "The important thing is to help the team in any chance that I get."
The duo teamed up to produce the decisive run in the ninth, when Santana reached on an error before stealing second and scoring on another double from Swanson. The run broke up a short-lived stalemate, as A's slugger Khris Davis belted a game-tying, two-run homer in the eighth.
"Whenever you can get a guy on base who can put pressure on the defense, who can create offense kind of by himself, is a big thing," Swanson said of Santana. "If he can consistently put himself into scoring position without hitting a double, even with just a walk, that will pay huge dividends for the team."
Swanson struggled mightily to begin the year but has been solid since being moved to the bottom of the order. Since June 1, the rookie is slashing .304/.351/.422 with two homers and 16 RBIs.
"I know he and [hitting coach Kevin Seitzer] have been working, and he made some adjustments," Snitker said. "I don't know what it was exactly, but he keeps working and he keeps his head and believes in himself. He has confidence in his abilities and we're seeing it. He's still in the learning stages."
Alex Espinoza is a contributor to MLB.com based out of the Bay Area.