(Photo credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports)
Atlanta right-hander Spencer Strider set the franchise record for most strikeouts in a season, Marcell Ozuna hit a go-ahead three-run homer, and the Braves beat the visiting Washington Nationals 5-3 on Saturday night.
Strider (20-5) struck out seven batters in five innings to break the Braves' modern-era, single-season strikeout record of 276 set by John Smoltz in 1996. He gave up three runs on six hits with three walks while throwing 94 pitches.
Pierce Johnson, Kirby Yates and A.J. Minter combined for three scoreless innings before Raisel Iglesias worked around a leadoff double in the ninth for his 33rd save.
Ozuna hit a go-ahead three-run homer in the fifth inning for Atlanta (104-57), which has clinched the National League East and home-field advantage throughout the postseason.
Washington (70-91) jumped on Strider for three runs on four hits in the first inning. CJ Abrams singled to begin the game, stole second base and scored on Keibert Ruiz's one-out double. Joey Meneses followed with an RBI double and scored on Luis Garcia's single.
Abrams' stolen base was his 45th of the season, one shy of Trea Turner's single-season team record set in 2017.
Atlanta pushed a run across in the third inning against starter Joan Adon when Ronald Acuna Jr. drew a leadoff walk, stole second base and scored on Austin Riley's one-out RBI single.
Acuna's stolen base set a Braves modern-era franchise record with 73 steals for the season, surpassing Otis Nixon's 72 in 1991.
The Braves moved ahead with four runs in the fifth inning. Acuna sparked the rally by extending his hitting streak to 14 games with a leadoff double and scoring on Ozzie Albies' single.
Jordan Weems (5-1) replaced Adon and allowed Matt Olson's one-out single ahead of Ozuna's three-run homer. The 432-foot blast was Ozuna's career-high 38th homer of the season, breaking his previous high set in 2017 with the Miami Marlins.
Ozuna's homer gave Atlanta a total of 305 for the season, leaving them two away from matching the major league record set by the 2019 Minnesota Twins.
Adon allowed three runs on six hits over four-plus innings. He walked two and struck out five.
--Field Level Media