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Albies begins huge day with leadoff homer

Braves 2B finishes triple shy of cycle, with RBIs in first 4 at-bats
MLB.com @mlbbowman

CHICAGO -- Ozzie Albies had not seen snow before this road trip began, but over the past week, the Braves' second baseman has certainly not been hampered by wintry conditions.

Unfazed by the frigid and wet conditions at Wrigley Field on Saturday afternoon, except for perhaps a fielding error he committed when attempting to turn a double play in the sixth, Albies finished a triple shy of the cycle. But his latest multi-hit effort was not enough to prevent the Braves from suffering a 14-10 loss that came courtesy of the nine eighth-inning runs the Cubs tallied off Atlanta's bullpen.

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CHICAGO -- Ozzie Albies had not seen snow before this road trip began, but over the past week, the Braves' second baseman has certainly not been hampered by wintry conditions.

Unfazed by the frigid and wet conditions at Wrigley Field on Saturday afternoon, except for perhaps a fielding error he committed when attempting to turn a double play in the sixth, Albies finished a triple shy of the cycle. But his latest multi-hit effort was not enough to prevent the Braves from suffering a 14-10 loss that came courtesy of the nine eighth-inning runs the Cubs tallied off Atlanta's bullpen.

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"Ozzie keeps swinging that bat really well," Braves manager Brian Snitker said. "Up and down the lineup, we swung the bats well. When you score 10 runs, you like your chance of winning the game. It just didn't happen."

Albies extended his recent tear by drilling a leadoff home run against Cubs starting pitcher Jose Quintana. It was the young infielder's second career leadoff homer and his 10th extra-base hit within a span of 31 at-bats dating back to the start of this road trip.

When Albies hit an RBI double in the second inning, he increased his Major League-best extra-base hits total to 14. He has recorded multiple extra-base hits five times, with each occurrence happening within the past eight games -- each of which has been played during this road trip, which has also included stops in Denver and Washington, D.C.

He also added and RBI groundout in the third and an RBI single in the fourth, giving him an RBI in each of his first four at-bats over the first four innings. He finished 3-for-5.

Video: ATL@CHC: Swanson laces an RBI double to center

Since starting this season with two hits in his first 20 at-bats, Albies has hit .409 (18-for-44) with four homers and a 1.298 OPS. His success has coincided with that of his good friend and double-play partner Dansby Swanson, who has distanced himself from last year's frustrations while hitting .357 with a .961 OPS this season.

"It's not like he does good, so I'm going to do good," Swanson said. "There's just this mutual relationship and energy in the air between us, where I can pick him up or he can pick me up. We don't have to say anything. Just the actions between the two of us brings the energy to a better place."

Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com.

Atlanta Braves, Ozzie Albies