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Riley continues power play as Braves down Mets

by The Associated Press | July 30, 2021 at 2:12 a.m.
Atlanta Braves Ozzie Albies and Austin Riley celebrate after scoring against the New York Mets during the fourth inning of a baseball game Thursday, July 29, 2021, in New York. (AP Photo/Noah K. Murray)

NEW YORK -- Austin Riley concluded his big week at Citi Field by hitting a two-run home run and finishing with three RBI, and the Atlanta Braves inched closer to the NL East-leading New York Mets with a 6-3 victory on Thursday.

The Braves won three games in the unusual four-day, five game series to move within four games of the Mets. Atlanta gave up a combined three runs in the two losses.

"These guys just kept getting after it," Braves Manager Brian Snitker said. "We pitched really well this series. It's big, obviously. You say that you come in and it's five games against a team that you're chasing, it's good to win the series."

Riley made it 2-0 in the fourth when he took Taijuan Walker deep to left-center. He added an RBI single in the fifth. Riley had four home runs and seven RBI in the last three games of the series, and has eight longballs in 20 career games at Citi Field.

It took Mets nemesis Chipper Jones 28 games to hit eight home runs at Shea Stadium, which was across the street from Citi Field. One of Jones' sons is named Shea, but Riley isn't ready to christen a kid "Citi."

"Not quite yet," Riley said. "I've got to hit a few more homers before I think of that."

The 24-year-old also made a handful of impressive plays this week at third base. He snared a sharp grounder by J.D. Davis to rob the Mets' third baseman of a third-inning hit on Thursday.

"Riley is an absolute stud," Braves starting pitcher Drew Smyly (Arkansas Razorbacks) said. "He's still learning, but he's got a ton of potential."

Abraham Almonte and Dansby Swanson also homered for the Braves, who have yet to climb over .500 this season but haven't been more than 7 1/2 games behind the Mets.

GIANTS 5, DODGERS 0 Brandon Crawford doubled home two runs in his first at-bat after coming back from a left oblique strain and San Francisco took two of three from Los Angeles.

REDS 7, CUBS 4 Joey Votto set a Reds franchise record by homering in his sixth consecutive game as Cincinnati beat Chicago.

NATIONALS 3-8, PHILLIES 1-11 Max Scherzer delivered a signature performance in what might be his last start for Washington, allowing three hits in six innings in the opener of a doubleheader split with Philadelphia. In the second game, Brad Miller hit a grand slam in the eighth inning off Sam Clay to give Philadelphia the win. The Nationals jumped ahead 7-0 before the Phillies rallied.

BREWERS 12, PIRATES 0 Manny Pina hit two home runs and drove in a career-high five runs as Milwaukee routed Pittsburgh.

PADRES 3, ROCKIES 0 Jake Croneworth slugged a two-run home run, Joe Musgrove struck out 11 and allowed only 3 hits in seven innings as San Diego beat Colorado.

AMERICAN LEAGUE

RAYS 14, YANKEES 0 Luis Patino outpitched Gerrit Cole, Brett Phillips hit a grand slam during a 10-run sixth inning, and Tampa Bay avoided a three-game sweep by routing New York. Patino struck out eight and walked two. Cole (10-6) gave up a season-high eight runs on six hits. He had 10 strikeouts and two walks.

BLUE JAYS 13, RED SOX 1 Vladimir Guerrero Jr. hit a three-run home run out of Fenway Park, Hyun Jin Ryu held Boston to two hits over six innings and Toronto routed the Red Sox.

ROYALS 5, WHITE SOX 0 Carlos Hernandez pitched six scoreless innings, Salvador Perez homered and Kansas City beat Chicago.

TIGERS 6, ORIOLES 2 Miguel Cabrera hit two home runs -- Nos. 496 and 497 -- and Casey Mize pitched seven solid innings as Detroit topped Baltimore.

ATHLETICS 4, ANGELS 0 Ramon Laureano drove in two runs and Frankie Montas struck out 10 and allowed only 3 hits in 7 innings as Oakland beat Los Angeles.

Thursday’s games

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Washington 3-8, Philadelphia 1-11

Atlanta 6, NY Mets 3

Cincinnati 7, Chicago Cubs 4

San Francisco 5, LA Dodgers 0

Milwaukee 12, Pittsburgh 0

San Diego 3, Colorado 0

AMERICAN LEAGUE

Tampa Bay 14, NY Yankees 0

Kansas City 5, Chicago White Sox 0

Detroit 6, Baltimore 2

Toronto 13, Boston 1

Oakland 4, LA Angels 0

Umpire Brian Knight (91) calls New York Mets first baseman Dominic Smith (2) out at second base after the tag by Atlanta Braves shortstop Dansby Swanson (7) during the inning of a baseball game Thursday, July 29, 2021, in New York. (AP Photo/Noah K. Murray)
Umpire Brian Knight (91) calls New York Mets first baseman Dominic Smith (2) out at second base after the tag by Atlanta Braves shortstop Dansby Swanson (7) during the inning of a baseball game Thursday, July 29, 2021, in New York. (AP Photo/Noah K. Murray)
Atlanta Braves right fielder Abraham Almonte (34) follows through on a home run against the New York Mets during the fourth inning of a baseball game Thursday, July 29, 2021, in New York. (AP Photo/Noah K. Murray)
Atlanta Braves right fielder Abraham Almonte (34) follows through on a home run against the New York Mets during the fourth inning of a baseball game Thursday, July 29, 2021, in New York. (AP Photo/Noah K. Murray)
New York Mets third baseman Brandon Drury (35) hits a single against the Atlanta Braves during the second inning of a baseball game Thursday, July 29, 2021, in New York. (AP Photo/Noah K. Murray)
New York Mets third baseman Brandon Drury (35) hits a single against the Atlanta Braves during the second inning of a baseball game Thursday, July 29, 2021, in New York. (AP Photo/Noah K. Murray)
Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Drew Smyly (18) throws against the New York Mets during the second inning of a baseball game. Saturday, July 29, 2021, in New York. (AP Photo/Noah K. Murray)
Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Drew Smyly (18) throws against the New York Mets during the second inning of a baseball game. Saturday, July 29, 2021, in New York. (AP Photo/Noah K. Murray)

Print Headline: Riley continues power play as Braves down Mets

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