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|NEW YORK — Hours before the Atlanta Braves took the field at Yankee Stadium Michael Pierce Jersey , as an air conditioning vent blew cold air inside a sweltering third base dugout, manager Brian Snitker admitted he did not think the youth would come together so quickly this season.
Snitker thought the Braves would do well but not necessarily possess the best record in the National League.
About 6 1/2 hours later, the Braves wrapped up another win due to some youthful contributions and on Tuesday they can become the first team in the National League to reach 50 victories when they continue a three-game series with the New York Yankees.
The Braves are on a four-game winning streak and 31-19 against opponents with winning records after Ronald Acuna Jr. hit a two-run homer in the 11th inning off David Robertson to give Atlanta a 5-3 victory.
“We’re ahead of where we thought we’d be,” Snitker said before the Braves upped the NL’s best record to 49-34. “Going into the season, I don’t think we expected to be sitting here on July 2 in first place.
“We all felt we were going to do really good. In all honesty with where we were with our club and are, we’ve kind of surpassed what everybody thought the first of March where we’d be. We’re a probably a better team than what we thought we were.”
Among the youthful players is Acuna, who at 20 years, 196 days is the youngest Atlanta rookie to hit a game-winning homer in extra innings since Andruw Jones (20 years, three days) did it April 26, 1997, against the San Diego Padres.
Acuna is batting .274 with seven homers and 18 RBIs in 33 games. He also owns six RBIs in extra innings, second most behind 21-year-old Ozzie Albies. The Braves also are 9-3 when he drives in a run.
“I’m never really nervous in those situations, my adrenaline kind of helps out,” Acuna said through an interpreter before adding he could never remember feeling nervous on the field.”
The Yankees (54-2 are 4-6 in their last 10 games after going 0-for-12 with runners in scoring position and striking out 12 times.
“We want to put them out there more often than not Nazem Kadri Jersey ,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “More often than not we’ll come through in those situations.”
Aaron Judge hit his 23rd homer and walked twice but also couldn’t complete the leaping catch on Acuna’s homer.
“I felt it hit my glove,” Judge said. “It didn’t go in. They got two runs. It was a tough play.”
Judge and the Yankees have only lost a series three times since April 19 and are 45-19 in their last 64 games. They will attempt to do so after extensive use of their bullpen trying to win Monday’s game.
Aroldis Chapman, David Robertson, Dellin Betances, Chad Green and Jonathan Holder combined for seven innings and threw 114 pitches.
“Obviously we went through a lot of guys tonight, threw a lot of pitches,” Boone said. “It’ll be a little bit of a challenge tomorrow, but we’ll work through it.”
Tuesday’s pitching matchup will feature young pitchers experiencing differing degrees of success of late as Sean Newcomb starts for Atlanta against Domingo German.
After going 4-9 in 18 starts last season, he is 8-2 with a 2.71 ERA in 16 starts in his second campaign.
Newcomb is coming off two straight no-decisions in home starts against the Baltimore Orioles and Cincinnati Reds. He has allowed three runs or less in all but two starts and allowed one run or less in eight outings, including six scoreless starts.
“He’s a lot more competitive than I was ever led to believe,” said Snitker while noting how Newcomb’s changeup has developed into an effective pitch. “I didn’t know him a lot. I hadn’t seen him a lot in the minor leagues and once he came here, he’s a quiet guy, he doesn’t show a lot of emotion on the mound but he’s very competitive.”
German will make his 10th start and it might be viewed as an audition to stay in the rotation until Masahiro Tanaka returns from a hamstring injury. German will pitch one day before Tanaka makes a rehab start for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
German is 2-3 with a 5.88 ERA in nine starts and has shown some flashes but also struggled. He followed up a three-start stretch where he fanned 28 in 19 innings against the New York Mets, Tampa Bay Rays Carey Price Jersey , and Seattle Mariners by struggling immensely in a 7-6 loss at Tampa Bay on June 24.
In his last start, German tied a career worst by allowing six runs on a career-worst nine hits in three-plus innings. He threw 64 pitches to 19 hitters and was pushed back, though he pitched a scoreless relief inning Wednesday at Philadelphia.
German’s only previous start against a National League team occurred June 9, when he allowed three runs on five hits in six innings in a 4-3 win at the Mets.
TORONTO — The Toronto Blue Jays, who have had trouble winning at home for stretches this season, have a chance for their second consecutive series sweep at the Rogers Centre,
The Blue Jays defeated the Washington Nationals 2-0 on Saturday afternoon and have won the first two contests of the three-game interleague series.
It was Toronto’s first shutout since Aug. 10, a stretch of 117 games.
Toronto (32-3 will send out right-hander Sam Gaviglio (2-2, 3.66 ERA) to try for the sweep Sunday afternoon. Washington (37-30) will counter with right-hander Tanner Roark (3-7, 3.63).
The Blue Jays swept the Baltimore Orioles in four games in their previous home series June 7-10 before dropping three in a row to the Tampa Bay Rays from Monday through Wednesday at Tropicana Field. Their home record for the season is 18-19.
Toronto’s six-game win streak at home followed an 1-10 drought at the Rogers Centre. The six-game win streak is their longest at home since they won seven in a row July 2-8, 2016.
The Nationals, meanwhile, have been shut out three times in their past five games and are in a 2-5 funk after an 11-4 surge.
“We’ve had some pitches to hit, we just didn’t hit them http://www.dolphinsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-josh-sitton-jersey ,” Nationals manager Dave Martinez said. “It’s surprising, but it happens. You run into good pitchers.”
Washington outfielder Bryce Harper was 0-for-4 with two strikeouts Saturday and is in a 1-for-11 drought with three walks. He also has been hit twice by pitches.
“I watch him and he gets a little frustrated,” Martinez said. “The biggest is just to keep him level-headed and let him go out there and just do his thing. He is one of the best players in the game, he’s going to carry us, I know he is.
“He had a couple of pitches to hit (Saturday) and fouled them back. Usually, he typically hits those pitches, and hits them really hard and really far.”
Said Harper: “They’ve thrown a lot of heaters the past two days, more than I think as a team we’ve generally seen. But you’ve got to make adjustments and get pitches we can hit and not miss them.
“Good pitching beats good hitting any day of the week. That’s baseball … just have to keep grinding, keep going. I’m feeling great, just missing pitches.”
The Blue Jays, meanwhile, are getting production from second baseman Devon Travis, who hit a two-run homer for the second game in a row Saturday. He was coming back from knee surgery last season and was being given one day off every three games.
“The plan was going into the season that we’d protect his knee a little bit until he started feeling good and we could extend that a little bit,” Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. “We’re at that point now. The kid has always hit Youth Courtland Sutton Jersey , he’s a real good hitter, everybody knows it’s just a matter of time. He might have been a little tentative early in the year, too, conscious of his knee a little bit. But two big games in a row here and he’s been really good since he’s come back.”
He had been optioned to Triple-A Buffalo on April 29 as he struggled and returned May 22. In his past 18 games, he is batting .333 with one double, one triple, three home runs and eight RBIs.
Roark allowed three runs, six hits and two walks in six innings in a 3-0 loss to the New York Yankees on Tuesday. He has never faced the Blue Jays.
Gaviglio gave up five runs and seven hits in 3 1/3 innings Monday in a loss to Rays after shutting out the Yankees in seven innings of a no-decision June 6. He has one career start against Washington and took the loss on May 24, 2017, when he was with the Seattle Mariners. He allowed five runs (one earned) and six hits in six innings in the game at Washington.
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