September 25, 2022
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William Contreras’ first career walk-off hit lifts Braves past Phillies

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And then, in an instant, he turned it around by lacing a single into center field that scored Ronald Acuña to win the game. This was Contreras’ first career walk-off hit.

“It just goes to show that if you don’t give up and keep fighting,” Contreras said, “good things can happen for you.”

caption arrowCaption

Atlanta Braves William Contreras singles to bring in the winning run in the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies, Tuesday, May 24, 2022, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Todd Kirkland)

Credit: AP

Atlanta Braves William Contreras singles to bring in the winning run in the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies, Tuesday, May 24, 2022, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Todd Kirkland)

Credit: AP

caption arrowCaption

Atlanta Braves William Contreras singles to bring in the winning run in the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies, Tuesday, May 24, 2022, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Todd Kirkland)

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

2. At the very least, Acuña had lifted a sacrifice fly. But as it began to fall, two Phillies outfielders started to converge in right-center field, leading you to believe a miscommunication might be coming.

It did. Center fielder Roman Quinn missed the ball. Dansby Swanson scored the tying run and Acuña ended up on second, set up for Contreras to drive him in.

“I didn’t have a great angle at it,” Matt Olson said. “I thought Quinn caught it.”

He should have. But didn’t.

They led by a run heading to the top of the ninth, then trailed by one as they entered the bottom half because Bryce Harper blasted a two-run homer off Kenley Jansen. But Jansen’s teammates picked him up after his second blown save in his last three opportunities.

Swanson led off the ninth with a double before the Braves took advantage of the error.

“To be able to battle back there in the bottom of the ninth, that feeling is irreplaceable,” Olson said. “Something that can be a real spark.”

3. Tuesday marked the first time Contreras’ parents, William Contreras and Olga Castillo, saw him play in person in his big-league career.

“Super happy, emotional,” Contreras said. “There aren’t words for it. Myself and my brother, we’re both here because of the sacrifices they’ve made for us, and for all their constant support, just putting us through everything. Just beyond emotions. Super grateful.

He gave quite the memory with the walk-off hit.

4. About himself, Olson put it best.

“It’s no secret: I’ve been scuffling a little bit as of late,” he said.

He’s right, but perhaps this game can serve as a turning point. He led off the bottom of the sixth with a go-ahead, solo home run off reliever James Norwood. The blast hit off the right-field foul pole.

Before this, Olson last homered on May 14.

With playing for a new team, he’s had a lot going on over the last several months. But he’s still working hard.

“You do what you can to bring the emotions down and get back to business and keep working to make the adjustments,” Olson said. “Sometimes all it takes is squaring one up and feeling good, so hopefully that’s the case.”

In addition to Olson’s homer, Acuña finished with three RBIs, the other two came on a run-scoring single in the second inning and a sacrifice fly in the sixth. And in the second inning, Swanson won a nine-pitch showdown against Kyle Gibson by hitting a run-scoring single after fouling off three straight pitches.

5. The Braves have had a few of these wins. Versus the Padres. Against the Red Sox. Now this one. They’ve had some tough losses, but they’ve also shown no fear in big moments.

“We’d been kicked in the teeth last week a couple times, so that was good to see them roaring back,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “It’s going to happen. We’ve done it more than once, so that’s good.”

Stat to know

10 – Contreras has 10 RBIs this season. Among major leaguers with 12 or fewer games played this season, those 10 RBIs are the most in baseball.

Quotable

“I don’t know that these guys need to build anything or need any more of that. They’re pretty calloused. They’ve been through a lot. But it’s good. This is a new year, this is a new team. They get to feeling that, that we’re never out of a game, (and) that’s a pretty good thing.” – Snitker when asked if these kinds of wins build a team’s resiliency

Up next

Braves right-hander Charlie Morton will pitch against Rangers left-hander Ranger Suarez in Wednesday’s game, which begins at 7:20 p.m.





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