Wright on the money for MLB-leading 17th win

Right-hander logs 7 scoreless frames as Riley, Acuña home runs help sink Rockies

September 1st, 2022

ATLANTA -- Kyle Wright stands alone as the Major League wins leader.

The right-hander blanked the Rockies over seven scoreless innings in the Braves’ 3-2 win on Wednesday night at Truist Park. Wright allowed five hits and two walks to go with six strikeouts to earn his 17th win of the season, surpassing Dodgers righty Tony Gonsolin (16-1) and Astros ace Justin Verlander (16-3).

"His arsenal and weapons, I mean, they're real," manager Brian Snitker said about Wright. "This is just the confidence he's pitching [with], and he's a different guy, which comes with maturity and the success."

Wright (17-5) is the first Braves pitcher to win 11 games at home since Tim Hudson accomplished the feat in 2010. Wright is 11-2 at Truist Park this season, with Atlanta winning in his last nine starts in Braves country.

With Gonsolin and Verlander on the injured list, the 26-year-old Wright has the opportunity to be the first Braves pitcher to lead the National League in wins outright since Russ Ortiz logged 21 in 2003. And Wright would be the first Braves pitcher to lead the Majors in wins since Tom Glavine in 2000, as the Hall of Famer had 21 wins that season.

In 2021, Wright had just two regular-season starts in the Majors, where he allowed seven runs over 6 1/3 innings. After beginning last season with the Braves, most of his time was spent with Triple-A Gwinnett.

"I had two starts last year, and they were both pretty bad before I got called back up for the World Series," Wright said. "Just seeing the growth that I made last year in Triple-A and being able to take in this year, and continue to do what I've been building and working on, is definitely exciting for me.

“It's a great feeling doing this. It's a great feeling winning, so I want to keep it going and try to keep getting better every day."

Wright honed his talents and went 10-5 with a 3.02 ERA with Gwinnett in 2021 before being called up to make two crucial appearances in the Braves' World Series title run.

"[This is] always kind of what we envisioned Kyle doing," Snitker said. "Credit to him, he went back to Triple-A last year and kind of got himself going. He had the big World Series performance that I think jumped him right into this next level."

While Wright held things down on the bump, Atlanta's offense continued to display its power. The Braves, who remained three games back of the Mets in the NL East race, lead the NL with 194 homers and are second behind the Yankees (205) for the Major League lead.

Austin Riley blasted a two-run shot in the first inning to give Atlanta an early lead, and after four consecutive days off, Ronald Acuña Jr. clubbed a Statcast-projected 444-foot solo shot in the fifth. Acuña has 22 career 440 feet-plus homers, second most in MLB since the start of 2018 behind only Trevor Story (24).

"It always feels good to be able to be on the field, and it feels good to be able to produce. And whenever you can put on a show for the fans, that's great because you know they deserve it," Acuña said.

The victory snapped Atlanta’s three-game losing streak, and the Braves have equipped themselves with a confident rotation and a powerful lineup that could erupt at any point heading into the final stretch of the regular season.

"I think a lot of our success, most of it, is our starting [pitching]," Snitker said. "We solidified a rotation this year, and we've had our five guys that we went to, and I think that's been really, really big."