Riley, Wright pace surging Braves in 4-3 win over Nationals

ATLANTA (AP) — Austin Riley homered off Patrick Corbin, Kyle Wright pitched seven-plus innings to win his 10th game, and the Atlanta Braves held on to beat the Washington Nationals 4-3 on Saturday.

The defending World Series champion Braves, moving a season-high 16 games over .500, improved to 28-8 since June 1, best in the NL over that span. They began the day 2½ games behind the first-place New York Mets in the NL East.

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ATLANTA (AP) — Austin Riley homered off Patrick Corbin, Kyle Wright pitched seven-plus innings to win his 10th game, and the Atlanta Braves held on to beat the Washington Nationals 4-3 on Saturday.

The defending World Series champion Braves, moving a season-high 16 games over .500, improved to 28-8 since June 1, best in the NL over that span. They began the day 2½ games behind the first-place New York Mets in the NL East.

Atlanta leads the NL with 132 homers, trailing only the New York Yankees (143) for the major league lead.

Ronald Acuña Jr. singled before Riley hit his 22nd homer, a two-run shot to left that sailed 422 feet and came off his bat at 108 mph in the first. The Braves have outhomered the Nationals 22-8 in eight head-to-head games this season.

Juan Soto connected for the 17th time and second straight day, his opposite-field shot to left trimming the lead to 2-1 in the third.

Atlanta scored twice to take a 4-1 lead in the fourth. After Riley and Travis d’Arnaud singled, Riley scored from second on a throwing error by shortstop Luis García, and d’Arnaud scored from third on Orlando Arcia’s single.

Riley is batting .487 over his last 10 games and has multiple hits in eight of those games. His average is up to .278, a big swing after it was .224 through his first 40 games of the season.

Wright (10-4) gave up eight hits and two runs, leaving after he walked Soto to begin the eighth. The Braves are 7-1 over Wright’s last eight starts, and he has a 3.28 ERA over that span.

Wright stranded two runners in the third when Lane Thomas struck out, and he allowed just three runners to get in scoring position. He gave up Yadiel Hernandez’s sixth homer, which sailed 413 feet to center field, to make it 4-2 in the seventh.

Will Smith allowed Josh Bell’s double that advanced Soto to third in the eighth, and Nelson Cruz cut the lead to 4-3 with a single. A.J. Minter faced five batters in the ninth to earn his third save in five chances, getting Josh Bell to ground out with runners on first and second to end it.

Corbin (4-11) lost his eighth consecutive start against the Braves and has a 7.07 ERA over that span. Corbin’s first career 27 2/3 innings against Atlanta were all scoreless.

Corbin, who had gone 1-0 with a 1.20 ERA with 16 strikeouts and four walks over his previous two starts, was charged with eight hits and four runs in six innings.

The Braves are 21-9 against left-handed starters. They began the day tied with San Diego for the best record in the NL against lefties.

The current Atlanta rotation of Wright, Max Fried, Charlie Morton, Spencer Strider and Ian Anderson is 34-15. The team is 49-26 in starts by those five.

HE’S HOT

Soto has hit safely in 12 straight games and is batting .415 with four doubles, three homers, six RBIs, 14 walks and 12 runs scored over the streak.

NICE MOVES

Braves 2B Orlando Arcia turned a difficult double play in the third, running from shallow right field in the shift to catch third baseman Riley’s throw and make a jump throw to first. Soto homered in the next at-bat, so Arcia saved a run. … With the bases loaded and two outs in the fourth, Nationals 3B Ehire Adrianza moved quickly to his right to stab Dansby Swanson’s liner and end the threat. … Braves CF Michael Harris II made a one-hop throw to the plate to keep Bell from scoring on a sacrifice fly in the eighth.

ANOTHER CAPACITY CROWD

The Braves announced a crowd of 40,632, their 22nd sellout of the season.

UP NEXT

Nationals RHP Paolo Espino (02, 3.55 ERA) will face RHP Ian Anderson (7-5, 5.09) in the final game of a three-game series. Since joining the rotation, Espino is 0-2 with a 4.91 ERA in five starts. Anderson is 1-0 with a 3.37 ERA in two career starts against Washington.

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