ATLANTA (AP) — Given a seven-run lead in the first inning, Atlanta right-hander Spencer Strider could relax and keep adding to his majors-leading strikeout total.
“That game felt like it was over pretty quick,” Strider said.
Ronald Acuña Jr. drove in three runs with four hits, including a two-run single in Atlanta's seven-run first inning, and the Braves beat the Philadelphia Phillies 11-4 on Sunday night to split the four-game series.
“Getting a lead first is big, especially when you get that big of a lead,” Strider said. “... When we're putting up runs, my job isn't to be perfect. My job is to get outs.”
Following the game, Braves manager Brian Snitker announced right-hander Michael Soroka will be recalled to make his first start since the 2020 season on Monday night at Oakland.
Matt Olson hit a pair of two-run homers for Atlanta, and Strider became the fastest pitcher in modern history to reach 100 strikeouts in a season.
“It's incredible,” said Acuña through a translator of Strider. “Every time he goes out to pitch it seems like he's going to strike everybody out.”
Acuña hit a run-scoring triple in the fifth before Olson's second homer to center. Acuña had two singles in the first when the Braves sent 11 batters to the plate, collected seven hits and opened a 7-0 lead. Led by Acuña and Olson, who had three hits, the Braves set a season high with 20 hits.
Strider (5-2) struck out nine while pitching six innings of two-run ball. The right-hander fired a called third strike past Nick Castellanos for the first out of the fourth, giving him 100 strikeouts in 61 innings and topping Jacob deGrom's 61 2/3 innings in 2021 as the fastest to 100 in the modern era.
“It's cool,” Strider said, adding “hopefully it'll keep going.”
Olson followed Acuña's leadoff single with a 464-foot homer to right-center. Austin Riley added another homer before Ozzie Albies and Acuña had two-run singles in the long first inning.
Phillies shortstop Trea Turner and left fielder Kyle Schwarber each committed an error on a grounder by Orlando Arcia, setting up two unearned runs in the inning.
Strider walked Kody Clemens to open the third. Brandon Marsh followed with a two-run homer for the Phillies’ first hit. Schwarber hit a two-run homer off Collin McHugh in the seventh.
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