On a night which saw World Wrestling Entertainment’s premiere TV show, “SmackDown” invade Atlanta, it was Braves third baseman Austin Riley’s bat that recited “Austin 3:16” inside Truist Park. Riley’s hot bat powered the Atlanta Braves as they beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 5-2 Friday night.
Riley went 3-for-4 with a home run, his 29th of the season, and three RBIs. Currently, Riley is one extra-base hit away from tying Hank Aaron’s record of 25. Also, Riley is batting .427, with 24 RBIs and is a shoo-in for player of the month honors. However, Riley is keeping a simple approach to his success.
“I think I found a routine that works for me,” Riley explained. “You know, I feel like a hitting coach has the hardest job because every hitter is different and being able to talk on a daily basis of how you’re feeling what works for you. You know, I know as hitters we’ll try anything. I know I will. If it works, I’ll stand on my head. Now just being able to find those things that you can go to those checkpoints during the bats to get you the feel that you want.”
Riley credited his work with the Braves coaches and his film study for getting him to the point where he can perform consistently at a high level.
“You know, it’s been a process but you know, I feel like I’ve slowly gotten to the point where … I think the biggest thing that’s helped me with that is watching video,” Riley said. “You know, understanding where pitches have to start for there to be a strike on the corner, and to put a game plan from there.”
Braves starting pitcher Kyle Wright got the win. He gave up five hits and two runs while pitching 6⅔ innings.
I thought we’d go back to 2019 where I feel like he had all the struggles with the off-speed pitch,” Braves starting pitcher Kyle Wright said of Riley. “He’s spitting on them and he’s doing damage to them. So he’s just yeah, he’s grown so quick. His defense is always pretty good. But now it’s like, it’s a lead. So yeah, it’s incredible how quickly he’s grown and how quickly he’s turned into a superstar.”
Arizona’s Madison Bumgarner took the loss. MadBum gave up eight hits, five runs (four earned), and walked three Braves batters in six innings. Wright said his fastball was effective even though the location was not precise. However, he had great command of his curveball all night.
“I said before, it’s a team stat and our defense is so good,” Wright said. “The offense has been incredible. So that’s, that’s a big testament to them. I feel like anytime I get jammed I try to lean on those guys. I know I’m always one pitch away, double play ,whatever it may be. So it’s really cool to know that when I take the mound, there’s a good chance that we’re going to win, but again, that’s a big credit to the guys out in the field.”
Wright has won five out of his last six starts.
Kenley Jansen had the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth inning. However, he settled down to pick up his 24th save of the season.