Rookie Spencer Strider pitched eight scoreless innings and set a franchise record for a nine-inning game with 16 strikeouts as the Atlanta Braves beat the visiting Colorado Rockies 3-0 on Thursday.
The Braves won two of three in the series and wound up with a 6-1 edge on the season against the Rockies. Second-place Atlanta kept pace with the first-place New York Mets in the National League East race, remaining three games back.
Strider (9-4) posted the highest strikeout total by a Braves pitcher since the franchise moved to Atlanta. Hall of Famer Warren Spahn struck out 18 in 15 innings for the Boston Braves against the Chicago Cubs on June 14, 1952.
It was Strider’s fifth game with double-digit strikeouts, giving him 174 whiffs in 114 2/3 innings.
Strider set a career high by working eight innings. He allowed two hits and did not walk a batter. It was the 12th time in his 17 starts that the right-hander allowed no more than one run.
Closer Kenley Jansen, who had allowed two runs in each of his last two appearances, pitched a perfect ninth inning to earn his 31st save.
The Braves hit two homers for the second straight night. Austin Riley homered for the second consecutive game, giving him 33, and Michael Harris II hit his 14th, his first since Aug. 22, to provide the bulk of the offense.
Riley’s homer came in the fourth inning and Harris’ came in the fifth off Chad Kuhl (6-8). The Colorado starter took the loss after pitching 4 2/3 innings and yielding three runs on five hits and one walk with seven strikeouts.
The Braves followed Harris’ homer by rallying for another run when Vaughn Grissom singled and scored on Dansby Swanson’s two-out single.
The Rockies threatened in the eighth inning. Michael Toglia delivered a one-out double and went to third when Atlanta first baseman Matt Olson failed to catch a throw from shortstop Swanson on a routine ground ball. With runners on the corners, Strider struck out Elehuris Montero and Sean Bouchard to end the threat.
–Field Level Media
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