MILWAUKEE (AP) — Ozzie Albies wanted another chance to step to the plate with the game on the line after failing to deliver a night earlier.
Given that opportunity, Albies wasted no time making amends.
Albies hit a three-run homer in the eighth inning to give the Atlanta Braves a 4-2 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday. Atlanta trailed 2-1 before Albies’ 407-foot shot to left-center.
“I actually want to be in those spots,” Albies said. “It’s fun when you can help the team with something to win games and score runs. To me, it’s exciting when you get up in those spots.”
Albies’ 23rd homer of the season came one day after Devin Williams struck him out with the bases loaded to end the Braves’ 4-3 loss at Milwaukee. The three-time All-Star had gone 0 for 16 since Wednesday before connecting.
“He’s got a slow heartbeat in him,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “He doesn’t panic or anything.”
Albies connected on a first-pitch sinker from Elvis Peguero (1-3) to end a string of 28 2/3 consecutive scoreless innings by Brewers relievers.
“They’ve been a big reason why we’re at where we are,” Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell said. “A little bit, we’ve got to point to like, we’re giving them a one-run lead. Scoring two runs is probably, regardless of what happens the rest of the game, it’s probably not going to win you a lot of games.”
Milwaukee lost two of three to the NL East-leading Braves as its NL Central advantage dipped to a half-game over the Cincinnati Reds, who beat Arizona 7-3 earlier in the day. The Brewers and Reds open a three-game series Monday in Milwaukee.
Atlanta slugger Austin Riley went 0 for 4 to end his streak of five straight games with a homer, which matched a Braves record. Riley had gone 10 for 21 with six homers and 16 RBIs over his last five games, the first time a Braves player had that many homers and RBIs in a five-game span since RBIs became an official statistic in 1920.
Daysbel Hernández (1-0) pitched a scoreless seventh to earn the win in his big league debut. Raisel Iglesias struck out the side in the ninth for his 18th save in 20 opportunities.
Atlanta’s Travis d’Arnaud went 2 for 4 with a solo homer and a double. Milwaukee’s Brice Turang hit a 417-foot drive into the second deck of the right-field stands for his first homer since May 14.
The Brewers wasted a bounce-back performance from Julio Teheran, who struck out five and gave up just three hits, one run and no walks in six innings. Teheran entered the day having allowed 17 runs over 16 1/3 innings in his last three starts.
Braves starter Bryce Elder also broke out of a slump while allowing two runs and four hits in six innings.
Brewers 1B Rowdy Tellez said he will have 17 stitches removed from his left ring finger Tuesday as he recovers from a freak injury. Tellez hopes to return in time for the Brewers’ mid-August road trip that includes series with the Chicago White Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers and Texas Rangers.
Tellez already was on the injured list with right forearm inflammation when he was shagging fly balls in Cincinnati on July 15 and got his finger stuck in the outfield wall, ripping his fingernail off and causing a tuft fracture.
“It’s kind of embarrassing,” Tellez said before Sunday’s game. “I feel I let my team down.”
Tellez is so eager to get back on the field that he spoke about the possibility of taking swings as early as Wednesday, one day after he gets his stitches out. He will get fitted for a metal brace to wear on his finger while hitting.
“I need to get back as soon as I can to help them out,” Tellez said.
Braves: LHP Max Fried (forearm) is expected to make a rehab appearance for Triple-A Gwinnett on Wednesday. LHP A.J. Minter (shoulder) could pitch for Gwinnett on Tuesday. … RHP Jesse Chavez (shin) was transferred to the 60-day injured list.
Brewers: Turang and RF Sal Frelick collided on a blooper to shallow right that Turang caught to end a seventh-inning rally. Both players remained in the game. “They’re a little sore,” Counsell said. “I’d say we’re optimistic for tomorrow, but we’ll have to definitely check on them tomorrow.”
Braves: Off on Monday before starting a home series with the Boston Red Sox on Tuesday. RHP Charlie Morton (10-7, 3.36 ERA) will start for the Braves.
Brewers: Host the Reds on Monday. The scheduled starters are RHP Colin Rea (5-4, 4.64) for the Brewers and RHP Graham Ashcraft (5-7, 5.77) for the Reds.