HOUSTON (AP) — The Atlanta Braves have won their first World Series championship since 1995, hammering the Houston Astros 7-0 in Game 6. Jorge Soler hit his third home run of the Series, and Freddie Freeman and Dansby Swanson also connected.
Max Fried got stomped on in the first inning, then delivered the best start of the entire World Series for the champion Braves. Fried got 18 outs against the 19 batters faced after his right ankle got stepped on by Michael Brantley’s rubber cleat in the first inning. Fried became the first pitcher in this World Series to complete six innings.
Steadied by 66-year-old manager Brian Snitker, an organization man for four decades, the underdog Braves won the franchise’s fourth title.
Freeman hit an RBI double and then punctuated the romp with a solo home run in the seventh that made it 7-0.
By then, it was a total team effort. Ailing star Ronald Acuña Jr., the dynamo of Atlanta’s future, bounded from the dugout to join the celebration for Freeman, the longtime face of the franchise.
Consider it a tribute to the greatest Braves player of them all, Mr. Hank Aaron. The Hall of Fame slugger died Jan. 22 at 86, still rooting for his old team, and his legacy was stamped all over this Series.
The loss denied 72-year-old Astros manager Dusty Baker the crown.
Jorge Soler was a bit player during the Chicago Cubs’ drought-smashing victory over Cleveland five years ago, but, now he’s been voted MVP of Atlanta Braves’ six-game World Series win over over the Houston Astros.
Soler hit .316 with three home runs and six RBIs. He became the first batter to lead off a World Series with a home run, hit a go-ahead, seventh-inning drive in Game 4 and put the Braves ahead in Game 6 with a tiebreaking, three-run homer in the third against Luis Garcia.