Tue, 05 Dec 2023

Matt Olson sets team RBI mark as Braves seal home field

Field Level Media
29 Sep 2023, 12:25 GMT+10

(Photo credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports)

Matt Olson set a modern-era franchise RBI record and the Atlanta Braves beat the visiting Chicago Cubs 5-3 on Thursday to sweep a three-game series and clinch homefield advantage throughout the playoffs.

The loss knocked Chicago (82-77) a half-game game behind Miami in the race for the final National League wild card, pending the Marlins' late result against the New York Mets on Thursday. Atlanta (103-56) finished the season 4-2 against the Cubs.

Olson socked his 54th home run, a two-run shot came in the first inning, raising his major-league-leading RBI total to 136. Hall of Famer Eddie Mathews' 135 RBIs in 1953 had been the club's top single-season total since 1900.

Atlanta starter AJ Smith Shawver, who was working on a limited pitch count, did not allow a hit in 3 2/3 innings. The rookie gave up one run on one walk and two strikeouts in his first major league appearance since July 30.

The winning pitcher was Kyle Wright (1-3), who fanned four and allowed one run in 2 1/3 innings. Raisel Iglesias pitched a 1-2-3 ninth to earn his 32nd save.

Chicago starter Marcus Stroman (10-9) lasted only two innings and took the loss. He gave up four runs, two earned, on four hits and no walks with two strikeouts.

The Cubs got a run in the first when Mike Tauchman walked, stole second, moved to third on a grounder and scored on Ian Happ's RBI fielder's choice.

The Braves took the lead in the bottom of the first on Olson's homer, then tacked on two runs in the second on a RBI double by Michael Harris II and a run-scoring single by Ronald Acuna Jr.

Atlanta made it 5-1 in the third. Austin Riley, who went 3-for-4, tripled and raced home when pitcher Javier Assad mishandled Eddie Rosario's comebacker.

Seiya Suzuki got the Cubs closer with an RBI double in the sixth, then a run-scoring single in the eighth that cut the deficit to two runs.

--Field Level Media

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