Swanson breaks out with tying HR to spark Braves’ big inning

Oct 30, 2021, 9:09 AM | Updated: 10:35 pm
Atlanta Braves' Dansby Swanson celebrates his home run during the seventh inning in Game 4 of baseb...

Atlanta Braves' Dansby Swanson celebrates his home run during the seventh inning in Game 4 of baseball's World Series between the Houston Astros and the Atlanta Braves Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

(AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

ATLANTA (AP) — Dansby Swanson picked a good time to drive in his first run of the World Series.

With Atlanta trailing 2-1 in the seventh inning in Saturday night’s Game 4, Swanson lined a 95 mph fastball from Cristian Javier over the right field wall for his first homer of the postseason, tying the game.

Pinch-hitter Jorge Soler followed with a go-ahead homer, also against Javier. It was the first time the Braves have hit back-to-back World Series homers.

Thanks to the sudden power display, the Braves won 3-2 and lead the World Series, three games to one. The Braves can clinch their first World Series championship since 1995 in Game 5 on Sunday night.

Before his homer, Swanson had been 2 for 11 in the World Series. He lined out and struck out in his first two at-bats on Saturday night.

“It’s like I’ve been waiting for Dansby to do a Dansby-esque type thing,” said Braves manager Brian Snitker. “The kid likes the moment, I know that. He has for as long as he’s been here.”

Swanson, a right-handed hitter, hit the opposite-field homer over the brick wall in right field. He watched the flight of the ball as he ran to first base and then triumphantly raised his right arm after rounding the bag.

Swanson said it was time for him to have a more competitive at-bat.

“I feel like something that in yesterday’s game that I struggled with was kind of the compete factor,” Swanson said. “I felt like I wasn’t competing as much as I needed to. So at that moment, I felt like I needed to compete to do something to help this team win.”

Even Soler, who had the decisive homer, said Swanson’s shot was “just a complete game-changer.”

Swanson’s big hit was an important one for a Braves offense that appeared to be stuck on a two-run hole. The Braves suffered a 7-2 loss in Game 2 before riding a strong start from Ian Anderson for a 2-0 win in Friday night’s Game 3.

Soler’s drive sailed just over the reach of Astros left fielder Yordan Valdez, who crashed into the wall while trying to make the catch.

Javier had not allowed a run in four postseason games before the back-to-back blasts.

“Javier’s been outstanding,” said Astros manager Dusty Baker. “He found too much of the plate on a two-strike count to Swanson, and then he hung a breaking ball on the inside to Soler. That was the difference in the ballgame.”

It was the second time in the postseason the Braves hit back-to-back home runs. Adam Duvall and Eddie Rosario hit homers in consecutive at-bats in the second inning of Atlanta’s 9-2 win at Los Angeles in Game 4 of the NL Championship Series.

Swanson and the Braves will try to build off the power resurgence in Sunday night’s Game 5 against Framber Valdez, the Astros’ Game 1 starter.

Entering the game, Swanson had a .273 career batting average in 30 postseason games. He hit three homers in last year’s postseason, including two against Miami in the NL Division Series and one against the Dodgers in the NLCS.

“I have family here at the game,” Swanson said. “I have my best friends that I grew up with here at the game. It’s a special moment, and it’s really hard to put into words.”

Swanson has painful memories of the Braves blowing a 3-1 series lead in last year’s NL Championship loss to the Dodgers.

“We know that nothing’s done, nothing’s over,” he said. “We’ve obviously learned that lesson before. We just got to go out and compete, and I feel like that’s the biggest motto for this team. “


More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Todd Bowles, left, talks with line judge Mark Stewart during the second ...
Associated Press

Analysis: Aggressive coaching paid off Sunday in NFL

With the ball in Tom Brady’s hands, Todd Bowles played it safe and lost. Doug Pederson and Brandon Staley went for broke and celebrated wins. Aggressive coaching paid off Sunday. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers lost 23-17 at Cleveland in overtime in a game that Brady had a chance to win in regulation with another one […]
1 day ago
France's Kylian Mbappe celebrates with teammate Theo Hernandez after scoring his side's opening goa...
Associated Press

Theo Hernandez wants to win World Cup for France and brother

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Theo Hernandez wants to win the World Cup for France. And for his big brother. Lucas Hernandez was in tears when he ruptured the ACL in his right knee early in France’s 4-1 win against Australia last week. His brother Theo replaced him at left back in a straight swap, even […]
1 day ago
Spectators leave the stands before the end of the second half of the World Cup group E soccer match...
Associated Press

World Cup TV pundit under fire for disparaging Qatari attire

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Former Germany forward Sandro Wagner is under fire for a disparaging remark he made about Qatari men’s traditional attire while commentating for TV during Germany and Spain’s World Cup match on Sunday. Wagner was commentating on the teams’ 1-1 draw for German broadcaster ZDF when he said in the 79th minute […]
1 day ago
Ecuador's Enner Valencia is attended by medical personnel during the World Cup group A soccer match...
Associated Press

Ecuador frets over Valencia ahead of Senegal at World Cup

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Enner Valencia has scored Ecuador’s last six World Cup goals so there’s no understating how worried his country is after he was carried off the field on a stretcher against the Netherlands . Ecuador hopes that the 33-year-old striker’s troublesome knees are OK for a decisive final group match against Senegal […]
1 day ago
Germany's head coach Hansi Flick attends a news conference on the eve of the group E World Cup socc...
Associated Press

FIFA charges Germany for no player at news conference

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Germany was charged in a disciplinary case by FIFA on Monday, though not for its players’ “hands covering mouths” protest before playing a World Cup game last week. FIFA said it opened a case against the German soccer federation for not bringing players to its mandatory news conferences one day before […]
1 day ago
Head coach Gregg Berhalter of the United States walks on the pitch during an official training sess...
Associated Press

US has clear World Cup task against Iran: win or go home

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — The task is clear for the United States: beat Iran in a politically charged World Cup match or go home. U.S. players have been praised as the best generation of American soccer. But they finished third behind Canada and Mexico in World Cup qualifying and now face a must-win final group-stage […]
1 day ago
Swanson breaks out with tying HR to spark Braves’ big inning