It took 12 innings, but the National League-leading Atlanta Braves won for the 10th time in 13 games Sunday afternoon. Michael Harris II provided the 12th-inning walk-off double to give Atlanta the three-game series win over the Baltimore Orioles (ATL 3, BAL 2 in 12 innings). The Braves are atop the NL East standings are 24-11.
The score was tied 1-1 entering extra innings, then the Orioles and Braves traded runs in the 10th. Atlanta tied it on a wild pitch in the bottom of the 10th inning, of all things. Here is Harris' walk-off double:
Although he went 0 for 5 in the game, Ronald Acuña Jr. still managed to make a big impact Sunday. He threw the speedy Austin Hays out at third base in the 11th inning when Hays tried to advance on an Adam Frazier fly ball to right. To the action footage:
Few things in this game can take your breath away like a great outfield throw. Acuña entered play with a 95.8 mph average competitive throw this year, the top mark among qualified outfielders. Only one other player, Washington Nationals ballhawk Victor Robles, averages over 92.0 mph on his throws. Acuña's always had a cannon and it showed there.
Even with Sunday's 0 for 5, Acuña is hitting a robust .338/.431/.551 on the season, and he leads all position players with 2.2 WAR. That comes after a good but very un-Acuña-like .266/.351/.413 line in 119 games a year ago, following his ACL surgery in 2021. Seems pretty clear the knee is fully healthy now. Acuña has played like an MVP for the season's first six weeks.
The Braves won 101 games and the NL East last season by virtue of holding the tiebreaker over the New York Mets. They are looking for their sixth consecutive division title this year, or the sixth of the Acuña era.