Division leaders Braves, Brewers battle for series win

The visiting Atlanta Braves will turn to right-hander Bryce Elder against the Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday afternoon in the rubber game of the series between National League division leaders

Elder (7-2, 3.31 ERA) will be opposed by veteran right-hander Julio Teheran (2-4, 4.01), making his first start against Atlanta, where he pitched his first nine seasons.

Milwaukee evened the series at a game apiece with a 4-3 comeback victory Saturday. Touted prospect Sal Frelick, making his major league debut, had three hits and drove in the tying and go-ahead runs, and also made a pair of sensational catches in right field.

Austin Riley accounted for all the Braves runs with a three-run homer, his 22nd homer and sixth in the past five games. Atlanta loaded the bases in the ninth on a single and a pair of two-out walks, but Devin Williams struck out Ozzie Albies for his 25th save, third best in the National League

Milwaukee, back to matching its season-best 11 games above .500, leads the NL Central by 1 1/2 games over Cincinnati. The Braves lead the NL East by 11 1/2 games, despite losing six of their last nine games

Brewers relievers tossed three more shutout innings Saturday to extend their streak to 27 2/3 consecutive scoreless innings over the past nine games

“They’ve been great,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “That’s just a big number. In nine games, it’s an incredible number. Obviously, they’re a huge reason why we’re winning baseball games.

The Brewers are 46-10 when scoring four or more runs

Elder, named to the All-Star team after opening the season at Triple-A Gwinnett, has been hit hard in his past two starts. Elder gave up seven runs on six hits in 3 1/3 innings in a 10-4 loss at Tampa Bay on July 9, and then was tagged for seven runs, five earned, on seven hits in 2 2/3 innings but did not get the decision in a 16-13 loss to Arizona.

Riley’s five straight games with a home run matches the franchise record accomplished by nine other players, the last by Ronald Acuna Jr. in 2018. Over the past five games, Riley is batting .476 (10-for-21) with six homers and 16 RBIs.

“I envy the great ones because they do stay so consistent no matter how great they’re doing, or if they’re going through a struggle,” Riley said. “That’s something that I’m learning and trying to lean toward. When things aren’t going well, I kind of bounce all over the place trying to figure it out. Most of the times, you’re not that far off.”

Teheran, signed as free agent in late May after opting out of his minor league contract with San Diego, will be making his 10th start for the Brewers. He allowed just one earned run in 11 innings in his first two starts with Milwaukee, but is 1-3 with a 4.87 ERA over his past seven starts

In his most recent start, he allowed four runs on seven hits in 4 2/3 innings in a 4-3 loss at Philadelphia on Tuesday. Teheran has been hurt by the long ball, giving up eight homers in 51 2/3 innings.

–Field Level Media

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