ATLANTA — Austin Riley drove in five runs while hitting two of his team's three home runs Sunday afternoon as the Atlanta Braves beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 7-1, capping their impressive power display in a series they dominated after dropping the opener.
Dansby Swanson added a two-run homer for the Braves, who hit 15 homers — they lead Major League Baseball with 75 this season — while winning three of four games against the Pirates. After a 6-4 loss in 10 innings Thursday, Atlanta outscored Pittsburgh 33-3 the rest of the way at Truist Park.
"Obviously they're hot," said Pirates manager Derek Shelton of the Braves. "I think we need to get out of this ballpark."
Atlanta hit seven homers Friday night in a 20-1 win, which was also the 24-year-old Riley's first two-homer game in an MLB career that started two years ago.
"It's very nice for sure to finally tap into some power and drive the ball," said Riley, who has nine homers in 2021 — one more than he had last year during the pandemic-shortened season.
Max Fried (2-2) allowed one run and four hits and three walks in seven innings. It was his fourth consecutive start allowing only one run. After finishing April with an 11.45 ERA, the left-hander has lowered it to 4.63.
Bryan Reynolds' double to the left-field corner drove in Adam Frazier in the top of the first inning, but that was the extent of the damage done by the Pirates. Although he ended up not needing much run support, Fried had plenty of it from a suddenly productive lineup.
Riley said he is learning to hit to all fields, and his second homer Sunday bounced off and over the top of the brick wall in right.
"When I first came up, I was trying to just yank everything," said Riley, who had 18 homers as a rookie. "Now I'm having power to all parts of the field, and I think that's the biggest thing."
Ozzie Albies had two hits and scored three runs. Albies, who homered from both sides of the plate in Saturday's 6-1 win, went deep three times in the series.
Riley, hitting fifth, gives Atlanta another power bat, but he hasn't relied only on that. An eight-game hitting streak has lifted his batting average to .320, and entering Sunday's game, he ranked second in the National League with his .412 on-base percentage. He hit below .240 in his first two seasons.
"Really good to see him driving the ball the other way," Braves manager Brian Snitker said. "You've got to have some inner confidence you can do this. He's still a young guy trying to figure things out."
Pittsburgh right-hander JT Brubaker (3-4) allowed seven runs and seven hits, including all three homers, in 5 1/3 innings. He has allowed a combined 12 runs in losing back-to-back starts.
Shelton said his pitchers learned "if you do not execute good pitches to a good lineup like this, then you are going to pay for it, and we paid for it this series."
Brubaker said the slider Riley hit for his first homer "was up a tick," but the right-hander placed some blame on the way the ball carries at Truist Park.
"Honestly, I've never seen a ball fly the way it has here," he said.
Having gone 4-3 during their homestand, the Braves (23-24) hit the road, with off days Monday and Thursday sandwiching a two-game series against the Boston Red Sox (29-19), who share the American League East lead with the Tampa Bay Rays.
Atlanta, still trying to get above .500 for the first time this season, will return to NL East play with a three-game road series against the New York Mets that starts Friday.