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Ronald Acuna Jr. hits one of four Braves’ homers in routing Nats

Jul 8, 2022; Cumberland, Georgia, USA; Atlanta Braves center fielder Michael Harris II (23) hits a double to score two runs against the Washington Nationals during the second inning at Truist Park. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Ronald Acuna Jr. ended his home run slump with a three-run shot and helped the Atlanta Braves roll to a 12-2 win over the visiting Washington Nationals on Friday.

Acuna had not homered since June 21 and was mired in an 0-for-14 slump until driving a pitch from Erick Fedde an estimated 446 feet into the left-field seats in the second inning. He went 2-for-5, and his eighth homer — one of four hit by the Braves — was part of a five-run rally and led Atlanta to its eighth win in 11 games.

The Braves got 15 hits — including a 4-for-4 performance from Michael Harris II with a double, four RBIs and his seventh home run, and a 3-for-5 night by Dansby Swanson.

The game was delayed by rain for 75 minutes with one out in the bottom of the eighth inning.

The Braves are 27-8 since June 1, while Washington has lost two straight and eight of nine.

The run support helped Charlie Morton (5-3) secure his first win since June 5. Morton had received five consecutive no-decisions despite having a 2.20 ERA (eight runs, 32 2/3 innings) during that span.

On Friday, Morton pitched seven innings and allowed two runs on four hits, three walks and seven strikeouts. His only mistake was a two-run homer to Juan Soto, his 16th of the season.

Fedde (5-6) was knocked out after facing three batters in the fourth. In three-plus innings, he allowed eight runs on eight hits, three walks and one strikeout. Fedde is 0-6 in 10 career appearances, nine starts, against the Braves.

The Braves got things started in the first when Matt Olson hit a solo homer, his 13th home run of the season.

The scoring in the five-run rally started when Harris drove in two runs with a bases-loaded double. Acuna followed with the three-run homer.

After Soto’s homer in the third cut the lead to 6-2, the Braves got one back on William Contreras’ solo home run in the third, and added another in the fourth on Swanson’s RBI single to stretch the lead to 8-2.

–Field Level Media