Reynaldo López Answers Call Again, Offense Awakens to End Skid

Starter Reynaldo López pitched six shutout innings to lead the Atlanta Braves over the Baltimore Orioles.
Atlanta Braves starting Reynaldo López
Atlanta Braves starting Reynaldo López / Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
In this story:

The Atlanta Braves are back in the win column. Once again, they have their starting pitching to thank.

Starter Reynaldo López pitched six shutout innings to help the Braves defeat the Baltimore Orioles, 6-3, on Thursday. The victory ended Atlanta's first five-game losing streak since September 2017.

López struck out eight and allowed just two hits with one walk. With the performance, he lowered his season ERA to 1.69.

It was the fourth time this season López didn't allow a run during one of his outings.

But perhaps even more encouraging than another strong outing from López was the Braves offense. Atlanta recorded 12 hits and scored six runs in the victory. It was the first time the Braves tallied more than five runs in a game since June 4.

Second baseman Ozzie Albies led the way with 4 hits. Designated hitter Marcell Ozuna continued his strong season with 2 RBI, both of which came on a double during the first inning.

Despite López's outing, the Braves needed their best offensive output in nearly 10 days to win. The Braves bullpen gave up 3 runs in the final three innings, and the Orioles brought the tying run to the plate in the ninth.

Center fielder Michael Harris II made a diving catch in the ninth inning to prevent the Orioles from inching even closer.

"He's a highlight reel when you put him out there," said Braves manager Brian Snitker of Harris after the win.

The victory salvaged an otherwise tough road trip for the Braves. During the trip, the team posted a 3-6 record and averaged just 3.3 runs per game. Two of those six defeats were shutout losses.

The Braves can celebrate ending their losing streak, but some of their offensive problems remain. Despite the victory, the Braves went 3-for-16 with runners in scoring position on Thursday.

The team will return to Truist Park for an important home stand beginning on Friday. The Braves will first welcome the Tampa Bay Rays for Father's Day weekend and then host the Detroit Tigers next week. Both American League clubs sit below .500.

The Braves will look to find their offensive rhythm against the Rays and Tigers before visiting the New York Yankees, who own the best record in the MLB.

Dave Holcomb