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Albies hits 2-run homer on Rodón's second pitch and hot Braves romp 8-1 over skidding Yankees

NEW YORK (AP) — Ozzie Albies hit a two-run homer on Carlos Rodón’s second pitch of the night, Austin Riley and Matt Olson also went deep off the left-hander and the Atlanta Braves routed the suddenly struggling New York Yankees 8-1 on Friday for their seventh win in eight games.

“It’s kind of more of what I think who we are," Braves manager Brian Snitker said after his team improved to 32-31. "It’s good to see the guys hung in there and, hopefully, this is a trend that’s going to turn around for us.”

Chris Sale (10-2) joined Kansas City’s Seth Lugo and Philadelphia’s Ranger Suárez as the major leagues’ only 10-game winners, getting his first victory over the Yankees since 2018.

“Just like we weren’t worried when it wasn’t going well, we’re not going to sit here and throw a party when it is," Sale said. “You just got to stay consistent, stay on the job and keep pulling your weight.”

New York has lost five of six, including three in a row while allowing 32 runs to the Braves and Baltimore, and was in danger of dropping below the Orioles into second place in the AL East before Baltimore lost 14-11 at Houston.

By the end of the fourth inning, the Yankees had given up runs in 13 of 14 innings, including nine in a row — tying a team record from June 16-18, 1940.

“Nobody says it’s going to be easy to go through the whole year. Nobody says it's going to be flowers, roll all the way to the World Series,” Yankees star Juan Soto said. “We got to take it like a man and forget about it and just keep moving forward.”

Rodón (9-4) lost his second straight start after winning seven in a row. He gave up eight runs -- seven earned -- in 3 2/3 innings and 11 hits, including seven for extra bases. His ERA has climbed from 2.93 to 3.86 in his last two outings.

“They attacked me on my strengths and they executed their swings," he said.

He appeared to shout at assistant pitching coach Desi Druschel in the dugout after the top of the first.

“Emotions got going,” Rodón said. “Just a little fiery there. I gave up three runs, two homers, that’s pretty much why.”

Atlanta’s first five hits were off fastballs as the Braves extended their winning streak to four. Atlanta has won four straight over the Yankees, outscoring them 26-4.

Sale gave up one run and one hit in five innings with eight strikeouts and three walks. The 35-year-old left-hander was an All-Star in seven straight seasons through 2018, then struggled with injuries before Boston dealt him to Atlanta during the offseason.

Aaron Judge and Juan Soto each struck out twice against Sale. Judge has 18 strikeouts in 30 career at-bats against him and Soto has six in seven at-bats.

Albies homered after Jarred Kelenic's leadoff single and Riley also homered in the first. Kelenic hit a run-scoring single in the second, Ramón Laureano had an RBI double in the third and Olson hit a two-run homer in the fourth.

Riley was 2 for 3 with two walks and has 12 hits in his last 22 at-bats, including four homers and four doubles. Laureano had three doubles.

DJ LeMahieu drove in New York’s run with an RBI grounder in the second after Jahmai Jones’ wind-blown triple. The Yankees matched the season low with three hits. Brought up from Triple-A, Yoendrys Gómez pitched 4 2/3 scoreless innings and Phil Bickford got two outs in his Yankees debut.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Braves: RHP Ian Anderson (Tommy John surgery on April 12, 2023) made his first rehab appearance Tuesday for the Florida Complex League Braves, striking out four in two hitless innings. Anderson is to make another FCL start before going out to higher minor league club, Snitker said. Anderson, 26, hasn’t pitched in the big leagues since Aug. 13, 2022. ... LHP A.J. Minter (hip inflammation) threw batting practice Wednesday and is slated to make a minor league rehab appearance Saturday for High-A Rome.

Yankees: 2B Gleyber Torres had an MRI that was negative after leaving Thursday’s game in the fifth inning because of right groin tightness. Yankees manager Aaron Boone said he will be available this weekend.

UP NEXT

Braves RHP Charlie Morton (4-3, 3.91) and Yankees RHP Marcus Stroman (6-3, 3.08) are to start Saturday.

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AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb

The Associated Press