With power stroke returning, Braves face Tigers again

The Atlanta Braves will try to expand on their recent power surge when they host the Detroit Tigers on Tuesday in the second contest of a three-game series.

The Braves have hit 10 homers over the last four games. Ozzie Albies struck the game-winning solo home run in the eighth inning of Atlanta’s 2-1 win on Monday, the Braves’ fourth victory in five games.

Atlanta tied a major league record with 307 homers in 2023 but has hit only 76 in 70 games in 2024.

Albies, who socked 33 homers last season, collected just his fifth of this year while ending an 0-for-15 drought. Atlanta manager Brian Snitker wasn’t surprised, though.

“That power is always going to be there. It’ll be there when he’s 50, because the body is going to be the same,” Snitker said. “It’s good. He was riding some kind of hitless streak, but he’s come through a lot like that in his career.”

Atlanta’s Austin Riley did not go deep on Monday, ending a three-game streak with a home run, but he did contribute two doubles and a run.

The pitching matchup for Tuesday features two right-handers, Detroit’s Casey Mize (1-4, 4.43) and Atlanta rookie Spencer Schwellenbach (0-2, 6.32).

Mize, set for his 14th start of the season, is looking for his first victory since April 21. He is 0-4 with a 5.15 ERA in his past nine outings.

Mize pitched well on Thursday against the Washington Nationals but did not figure in the decision of a game the Tigers won 7-2. He worked six innings and allowed one run on four hits with one walk and four strikeouts.

“It’s been a tough stretch, so this was a good step forward,” Mize said. “I view it as a good day. The win is the most important thing. For me, to kind of have a good one after a tough stretch feels good.”

Mize has never faced the Braves.

Schwellenbach, entering his fourth major league appearance and first against the Tigers, continues to look for his first win. In his latest outing, on Wednesday at Baltimore, Schwellenbach pitched well but did not receive a decision as the Braves fell 4-2. He threw six innings and allowed two runs on four hits with two walks and three strikeouts.

“Lot of strikes, the kid is learning,” Snitker said. “He doesn’t have a lot to fall back on yet, but the stuff was good. He threw a lot of strikes. Got hurt with some two-strike pitches, probably got too much of the plate. But he competes really well, stuff is good and there’s a lot of upside there.”

The Tigers have had offensive issues, too. They have scored one run or none in 18 games this year and are 10-12 in one-run games.

Detroit designated hitter Mark Canha continues to heat up. He went 2-for-3 with a walk on Monday, making him 9-for-23 (.391) over his past six games, upping his average from .233 to .249. He was hitting .224 through May 22.

Tigers center fielder Riley Greene had a hit and two walks on Monday. He is batting .400 (6-for-15) on the team’s road trip.

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