SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The reigning World Series champion Atlanta Braves fully expect the division race to go down to the wire with the New York Mets.
Dansby Swanson believes the Braves still can be so much better with plenty of baseball left — controlling what they can control and not worrying about what New York does night after night.
Kyle Wright earned his major league-leading 18th victory, Swanson homered and drove in three runs and the Atlanta Braves beat the San Francisco Giants 5-1 on Tuesday night to pull within a half-game of the first-place Mets in the NL East.
“I feel like we have so much more to grow as a team, I feel like we can really get into a good groove and rhythm 1 through 9,” Swanson said. “Starters, bullpen, I feel like we have a lot left in the tank and I think we'll definitely continue to pursue that and show that for the rest of the year.”
Wright struck out four while pitching into the sixth. The right-hander won his fifth straight decision.
Swanson hit a go-ahead two-run homer in the third and Michael Harris II added an RBI single later that inning to support Wright (18-5). Robbie Grossman drove in a run on a groundout for Atlanta.
Swanson added an RBI single in the ninth.
Wright bounced back from a no-decision at Oakland last week in which he allowed a career-high eight runs while lasting only four innings. On Tuesday, he allowed one run on three hits and walked three over 5 1/3 innings.
“I was kind of lagging behind at first and once I ramped up the intensity I felt like the arm was back on time and where it needed to be,” Wright said.
Joc Pederson gave the Giants a 1-0 lead with an RBI single in the first off Wright.
Then the Braves' big hitters started swinging as Atlanta snapped a season-long three-game skid as it wraps up a seven-game road trip out West on Wednesday. The Braves and Mets are the only clubs in baseball not to lose four in a row this year.
Swanson connected for his 20th homer off Giants starter Jakob Junis (4-6). Junis struck out five and didn't walk a batter in five innings while facing the Braves for the first time.
Highly regarded Giants pitching prospect Cole Waites made his major league debut pitching the top of the seventh. He allowed a hit and walked a batter.
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