BALTIMORE (AP) – The Atlanta Braves haven’t lost in nine games and the Baltimore Orioles haven’t won twice as many.
That doesn’t mean their final matchup was a foregone conclusion.
“We just take every win for what it is and then to the next,” said Braves right-hander Touki Toussaint. “We know how difficult this game is.”
Jorge Soler homered, Toussaint effectively struck the sixth inning and the aspiring Braves beat Baltimore 3-1 on Sunday, extending the Orioles’ losing streak to 18 games. Atlanta has won nine in a row and 16 of the last 18.
Baltimore’s skid is the longest in the Major Leagues since Kansas City lost 19 straight in 2005. This was only the third time in the series that the Orioles lost by two runs or fewer.
But the Braves didn’t seem to be taking Baltimore lightly.
“These teams are in a difficult situation sometimes,” said Atlanta’s manager Brian Snitker. “It’s easy to get into a situation like this and get carried away before you know what the hell happened.”
Adam Duvall added a two-run double to the Braves, who started the day at the top of NL East five games ahead of Philadelphia. Atlanta has completed a 9-0 trip and won a franchise record of 13 straight street games.
Toussaint (3-2) allowed one run and five hits in 5 1/3 innings. He went three and struck five.
Atlanta used five helpers. Luke Jackson beat the team in eighth place and Will Smith finished his 28th save with 32 chances.
John Means (5-6) scored three runs and four hits in over six innings.
“I thought today was the day,” said Means. “Felt good, felt like things were going in our favor, and it just didn’t happen.”
Soler opened the scoring with an out in the fourth as his drive cleared the wall in left field for a solo homer. Duvall’s double doubles made it 3-0.
Ramón Urías hit an RBI double with two outs in the lower part of the inning for the only Baltimore run. The Orioles went 1 for 9 with men in the points position.
“I have no problem with exertion,” said Baltimore manager Brandon Hyde. “We don’t win games. We don’t run. We are very inexperienced. We beat this series with good pitching. “
A light rain fell through much of the game, but there were no delays.
All three runs in Atlanta were driven by players the Braves acquired through trade deadline deals earlier this year. Soler and Duvall help Atlanta resolve the absence of injured outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr.
“These deadline players really helped,” said Snitker. “They made our club better and deeper.”
Orioles RHP César Valdez granted total waivers and accepted an assignment from Triple-A Norfolk.
Orioles: 2B Jorge Mateo was shaken after beating an infield single in game seven but stayed in the game. … OF DJ Stewart (knee) returned after missing four games. He went 0 for 2 and was removed for a pinch hitter in sixth.
The Braves return home for two games against the New York Yankees. Atlanta RHP Huascar Ynoa (4-2) starts against LHP Jordan Montgomery (4-5) on Monday evening.
Atlanta took advantage of some weaker opponents on this road trip when it met Washington and Miami in addition to the Orioles. Now the Braves get the Yankees, Giants and Dodgers in their next eight games.
Baltimore is off on Monday before hosting a three-game series against the Los Angeles Angels. The Orioles sent RHP Spenser Watkins (2-5) up the hill on Tuesday night against RHP Dylan Bundy (2-9), a first-round draft pick from Baltimore in 2011. He last served for the Orioles in 2019.
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