Nick Markakis wins it for Braves with a walk-off homer against Toronto

Bill Shanks

What a way for Nick Markakis to come back to the Atlanta Braves!

Markakis, who opted out and then came back to the team, made his first start of the season Thursday night and hit a game-winning, walk-off home run to give the Braves their ninth win of the season and the seventh win on the nine-game homestand.

Markakis had a chance to drive in a run in the sixth inning when Freddie Freeman doubled to lead off the frame and then moved to third on a wild pitch. With one out, Markakis struck out.

But Markakis got the last laugh when, with one out in the ninth inning, Markakis hit a home run to right field to give the Braves a 4-3 win.

With Adam Duvall off to a hot start, Braves manager Brian Snitker hinted during his pregame press conference he might go with Duvall in left, Ronald Acuna in center and Markakis in right. The Braves also like Markakis hitting fifth behind Marcell Ozuna.

Markakis decided to come back to the Braves after originally opting out. He had talked with Freeman when Freeman was first diagnosed with the COVID-19. But after seeing the Braves play well in the first few games of the season, Markakis got the itch to come back and applied for reinstatement.

And in his first game back, Markakis came through in the clutch with a huge home run.

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