Dansby Swanson, Jorge Soler Power Braves To Game 4 Victory
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Dansby Swanson and Jorge Soler launched back-to-back solo home runs in the seventh inning on Saturday night, propelling the Braves to the precipice of their first World Series title since 1995, with a thrilling 3-2 comeback victory over the Astors in Game 4 of the Fall Classic at Truist Park in Atlanta.
Veteran right-hander Zack Greinke fired four shutout frames and the Astros managed to open up a two-run advantage in the early stages of the contest, thanks to an RBI ground out from Carlos Correa in the opening frame and a solo homer -- his second round-tripper of the series -- from Jose Altuve in the fourth inning. Yet, the Astros’ bullpen was unable to hold onto the slim advantage.
The Braves managed to limit the damage to just a pair of runs as righty Kyle Wright gobbled up nearly five frames in relief before his teammates responded with a late-inning comeback, which was kick-started by an RBI single from Austin Riley in the sixth inning off lefty reliever Phil Maton, before Swanson and Soler went back-to-back off righty reliever Cristian Javier in the ensuing frame. It was the Braves’ bullpen that came through in the clutch yet again as Chris Martin, Tyler Matzek, Luke Jackson and Will Smith combined to hurl four shutout frames to ice the narrow victory.
With the Astros on the brink of elimination, southpaw Framber Valdez will get the ball to start Game 5. The 27-year-old lefty struggled in his previous start, allowing five runs on eight hits over two-plus innings in a Game 1 loss at Minute Maid Park in Houston. Meanwhile, the Braves haven’t revealed their pitching plan for Game 5, but they could turn to left-hander Max Fried on short rest to fill-in for injured righty Charlie Morton, who sustained a fractured fibula in their Game 1 victory last week.
MLB Quick Hits: Astros placed C Jason Castro on the COVID-19 injured list … Padres sent LHP Daniel Camarena, RHP Miguel Diaz, OF Brian O’Grady and 2B Ivan Castillo outright to Triple-A El Paso … Rangers released RHP Drew Anderson … Jacob Barnes has elected free agency … Justin Miller has elected free agency.