In this image from video, Atlanta Braves manager Brian Snitker answers questions during a postgame press conference after a Major League Baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday, May 6, 2023 at Truist Park in Atlanta, Ga. (Photo: Itoro N. Umontuen/The Atlanta Voice)

Kevin Pillar took off his jacket, grabbed his bat and stepped into the on-deck circle looking to contribute. He took the one ball, no strike pitch from Baltimore’s Danny Coulombe and smacked a 405 foot home run over the left field fence, which gave his Atlanta Braves an important 5-4 victory Saturday night at Truist Park.

Braves reliever A.J. Minter got the win after pitching a perfect eighth inning and closer Raisel Iglesias got the save after striking out two Orioles in the ninth inning. 

“Yeah, terrific teammate, just kind of personifies baseball to me,” Braves starting pitcher Spencer Strider said of Kevin Pillar. “He watches the game when he’s not playing. Smart player, obviously, he’s experienced, and that has a lot to do with it, and he’s got a great attitude. Really, really glad that he’s with us.When we get those opportunities, he’s going to lay it on the line, whether it’s on the plate or in the field, and came up big for us today.”

Strider struck out ten batters in five innings. Atlanta is currently undefeated when the Clemson alum takes the mound for the Braves. Even though he didn’t factor in the decision, Strider said he has begun to find his stride with his mechanics.

“I spent a lot of time watching videos or pitches where I felt like I was self aware and executed, and things synced up the way I wanted,” Strider said as he described his level of preparation. “Especially going into an outing. And so that’s kind of the mental image that I give myself. Kind of make that my baseline going into an outing.”

Friday night’s hero, Anthony Santander, had two doubles and scored two runs.

Braves starting pitcher Kyle Wright was placed on the injured list on May 4th due to a right shoulder strain.  

In the series finale, right hander Tyler Wells (2-1, 3.34 ERA) gets the start for the Orioles while Braves right hander Bryce Elder (3-0, 1.75 ERA) will take the mound Sunday morning in a nationally broadcast game.

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Itoro Umontuen currently serves as Managing Editor of The Atlanta Voice. Upon his arrival to the historic publication, he served as their Director of Photography. As a mixed-media journalist, Umontuen...