Marcell Ozuna and Ronald Acuna Jr. hit home runs in the decisive seventh inning to help the Atlanta Braves beat the visiting Minnesota Twins 4-1 on Monday in the opening game of a three-game series between division leaders
The National League East-leading Braves improved to 18-4 in June, winning three straight and 11 of their last 12. The American League Central-leading Twins dropped to 2-2 on their current nine-game road trip
The game was tied 1-1 when Ozuna hit an opposite-field solo home run, his 16th, against Minnesota starter Sonny Gray. After Michael Harris II singled for his third hit, the Twins brought in reliever Emilio Pagan, who surrendered a 432-foot homer to Acuna, his 17th
Spencer Strider (9-2) pitched seven innings and allowed one run on three hits, two walks and 10 strikeouts. Strider had his fifth double-digit strikeout game of the season, the first since May 23 against the Los Angeles Dodgers. He has fanned 10-plus batters in 11 of his 36 career starts.
Kirby Yates worked around a single and struck out two to pitch a scoreless ninth and earn his first save since Aug. 7, 2020.
Gray (4-2) pitched 6 2/3 innings and allowed three runs -- matching his season high -- on seven hits, one walk and five strikeouts. The home run to Ozuna was only the third allowed by Gray this season. He dropped to 0-3 in his career against the Braves
The Twins got on the board in the second inning on Joey Gallo's 13th home run of the year, a solo shot to center field
The Braves tied the game in the fourth when Austin Riley singled and came around to score on Travis d'Arnaud's infield grounder
The Twins got runners on second and third with two outs in the eighth against Atlanta reliever Collin McHugh, but Ben Heller entered and retired Carlos Correa on a fly ball to shallow right field to end the threat
--Field Level Media