Ozuna, Albies power Braves’ offense in 16-4 rout of Nats

Apr 12, 2022, 8:11 AM | Updated: 9:14 pm
Washington Nationals left fielder Lane Thomas chases down a ball hit for an RBI double by Atlanta B...

Washington Nationals left fielder Lane Thomas chases down a ball hit for an RBI double by Atlanta Braves' Dansby Swanson during the fourth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, April 12, 2022, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

(AP Photo/John Bazemore)

ATLANTA (AP) — Marcell Ozuna homered twice and doubled, Ozzie Albies drove in three runs and the Atlanta Braves fired up their offense to rout the Washington Nationals 16-4 on Tuesday night.

Coming off an 11-2 loss, the Braves began the game with a .201 team batting average before banging out 19 hits and going 9 for 19 with runners in scoring position.

Ozuna, Austin Riley, Adam Duvall, Dansby Swanson and Orlando Arcia each had two RBIs.

“It felt good,” Ozuna said. “Every time you come in and do some damage with your offense — that’s what I was thinking — how can I do damage with my offense and help my team to make a difference.”

Travis d’Arnaud had three hits and a provided a bit of comic relief as he flopped to the field dramatically when hit on the left shoulder in the eighth inning by a 52 mph pitch from outfielder Dee Strange-Gordon.

Albies homered on a 59 mph pitch from Strange-Gordon, who made his first big league mound appearance.

Nationals star Juan Soto hit his 100th career home run. He joined six other active players to hit that many at age 23 or younger — the others are Miguel Cabrera, Bryce Harper, Ronald Acuña Jr., Albert Pujols, Giancarlo Stanton and Mike Trout.

Ozuna began the four-run fourth with his first homer this season, a drive to center off reliever Austin Voth that made it 7-1. Ozuna connected to left in the fifth off Paolo Espino, padding the lead at 11-1. It marked Ozuna’s 12th multihomer game and his first since Sept. 22, 2020, against Miami.

“I’m always confident,” Ozuna said. “I’m always positive. I don’t want to have anything negative. Just come in and be ready for the game and do damage. If I get a good pitch to hit, I’ll swing.”

Defending World Series champion Atlanta snapped a two-game skid. It avoided dropping three straight for the first time since losing four in a row last Sept. 14-18.

Bryce Elder (1-0), a fifth-round draft pick out of the University of Texas in 2020, won his major league debut, allowing three runs and six hits with no walks and four strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings. He was given a spot start after going 11-5 with a 2.75 ERA in 25 games across three levels of the minors last year.

“I thought I was going to be more nervous than I was,” Elder said. “They called me last night and told me. I slept actually really well. My family and some of my friends were able to come out and I thanked them for that. The last 24 hours went by really quick.”

The Braves went up 3-1 in the second when Heredia and Albies both doubled to drive in three runs charged to Patrick Corbin (0-2), who gave up six runs and nine hits in 2 2/3 innings, his ERA rising from 4.50 to 10.80.

Corbin has lost seven consecutive starts to Atlanta with a 7.25 ERA dating to Sept. 6, 2019.

“I don’t know, I used to pitch pretty good against them, and then I’m not quite sure,” Corbin said. “They work the pitch count. They have some veteran guys over there. Just one of those days today where it seemed like everything went well for them. And yesterday was the opposite for us. Have to get over this one and try to come back tomorrow and try to win the series.”

Albies has a .429 average and 11 RBIs in 28 career at-bats against Corbin.

Atlanta has won 15 of 21 against Washington since the start of last season.

GOING, GOING, GONE

Solo’s second homer of the season, a solo shot, landed about 15 rows into the seats in right-center, traveling 451 feet and leaving his bat at 113 mph. Washington went back-to-back when Bell followed Soto with a homer.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Washington DH Nelson Cruz was scratched from the lineup because of groin tightness. Yadiel Hernandez moved from LF to DH, hitting fourth, and Lane Thomas was inserted in the lineup in left, batting seventh. … Espino was drilled in the right thigh on a liner from Matt Olson in the sixth, but stayed in the game to give up a two-run double by Riley that made it 13-3.

ROSTER MOVES

The Braves designated C Chadwick Tromp for assignment as they selected Elder’s contract from Triple-A Gwinnett. Atlanta also optioned C William Contreras and LHP Tucker Davidson to Gwinnett and selected RHP Jackson Stephens’ contract while designating RHP Jacob Webb for assignment. Stephens pitched the seventh, eighth and ninth to earn his first career save.

UP NEXT

Braves LHP Max Fried (0-1, 7.94 ERA) hopes to bounce back from a rough opening day start. Atlanta’s ace will pitch opposite Washington rookie RHP Josiah Gray (0-1, 9.00) as the teams conclude a three-game series in Wednesday’s 12:20 p.m. start.

___

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.

Bump & Stacy Show

AP

A shot by Las Vegas Aces forward Dearica Hamby (5) is rejected by Washington Mystics forward Elena ...
Associated Press

Mystics knock off Aces in overtime 87-86

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Alysha Clark scored 20 points, Elena Delle Donne added 19 and Natasha Cloud sank three free throws in the final 11.7 seconds of overtime to help the Washington Mystics hold on for an 87-86 victory over the Las Vegas Aces on Saturday night. Clark hit four 3-pointers for Washington (12-9), adding […]
22 hours ago
Philadelphia Phillies' Bryce Harper reacts after being hit by a pitch from San Diego Padres' Blake ...
Associated Press

Phillies’ Harper has broken thumb after being hit by pitch

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Bryce Harper has a broken left thumb after being hit by a 97-mph fastball from Blake Snell in the fourth inning Saturday night against the San Diego Padres. The team announced the injury to the reigning NL MVP, who will be out indefinitely. He will undergo further evaluation […]
22 hours ago
Associated Press

Ogwumike scores 24 to lead Sparks past Storm 85-77

SEATTLE (AP) — Nneka Ogwumike scored 24 points to lead four players in double figures and the Los Angeles Sparks clamped down in the fourth quarter to beat the Seattle Storm 85-77 on Saturday night. Ogwumike hit 12 of 18 shots from the floor for Los Angeles (7-10). Katie Lou Samuelson added 17 points for […]
22 hours ago
Mississippi's Tim Elko (25) celebrates as he runs toward home, as he was driven in by Kevin Graham ...
Associated Press

Pitching, power lift Ole Miss over OU in CWS finals opener

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Jack Dougherty knew for 24 hours he would get the ball for Mississippi in Game 1 of the College World Series finals Saturday night, and he didn’t want to jinx himself. “I tried not to think about it too much,” he said. “I wanted to go out there and be myself. […]
22 hours ago
Atlanta Braves' Marcell Ozuna through on a two-run home run against the Los Angeles Dodgers during ...
Associated Press

Ozuna’s 2-run homer in 8th powers Braves past Dodgers 5-3

ATLANTA (AP) — Marcell Ozuna says he’s beginning to see evidence of his work to regain his timing at the plate after missing most of last season. The Braves outfielder backed up that claim with his biggest hit of the season. Ozuna hit a tiebreaking homer in the eighth inning and Atlanta recovered after blowing […]
22 hours ago
Associated Press

Phoenix tops Dallas 83-72 in first game without Charles

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Skylar Diggins-Smith scored 26 points, Diana Taurasi added 18 and Phoenix beat the Dallas Wings 83-72 on Saturday in the Mercury’s first game without Tina Charles. The Mercury announced earlier Saturday that they have parted ways with former MVP Tina Charles after just 18 games. “After discussions with Tina and her […]
22 hours ago
Ozuna, Albies power Braves’ offense in 16-4 rout of Nats