Harris ends power drought with 2 homers as Strider, Braves beat Angels 5-1

ATLANTA -- — Only four Atlanta pitchers have had multiple seasons with 200 strikeouts.

That's why it's so impressive that Spencer Strider has reached the milestone in his first two full seasons.

Michael Harris II ended a homer drought with two blasts, including a go-ahead shot in the fifth, Strider added to his majors-leading total with nine strikeouts and the Braves beat the Los Angeles Angels 5-1 on Tuesday night.

Strider has nine or more strikeouts in 17 of 22 starts, giving him 208 for the season.

“That’s crazy and we’re just now in August,” Harris said. “There’s a good amount of baseball left and I want to see where he ends.”

Strider broke his own record for reaching 200 strikeouts in the fewest innings, hitting the mark in 123 1/3 innings by fanning Shohei Ohtani in the first inning. He broke the record set by Randy Johnson in 2001 by reaching 200 strikeouts in 130 innings last season.

“I can't explain the talent that he is,” Harris said about Strider.

Entering Tuesday, Toronto’s Kevin Gausman was second in the majors with 162 strikeouts.

Strider (12-3) allowed one run in 6 2/3 innings in his first victory since July 8 and said he wasn't focused on the strikeout record.

“Breaking a record isn't always a formula to winning games,” Strider said. “My goal is just get deep into games and be effective.”

Angels manager Phil Nevin said “that's why (Strider) is one of the best in the league. He had his fastball working today and we had a hard time getting to it.”

Patrick Sandoval (6-8) allowed two runs on three hits and four walks in five innings for Los Angeles.

Harris hit his first homer since July 3 by lining an 0-2 pitch from Sandoval 445 feet to right field with one out in the fifth for a 2-1 lead.

Orlando Arcia added a two-run shot off Jacob Webb in the seventh. Harris followed with his 11th homer, giving the NL East-leading Braves a 5-1 lead.

Los Angeles center fielder Mickey Moniak had two hits, including a leadoff single up the middle in the fifth. Moniak eventually scored on Zach Neto's fielder's choice grounder for the Angels' only run off Strider.

Ohtani struck out in his first two at-bats against Strider before reaching on a single off Arcia's glove at shortstop in the sixth. With two outs, Ohtani stole second but was stranded there as Hunter Renfroe struck out to end the inning.

The Angels began the day three games behind the final AL wild card and 4 1/2 games behind AL West leader Texas.

200 K CLUB

The other three Braves pitchers to have multiple 200-strikeout seasons include two Hall of Famers, John Smoltz, who had five, and Phil Niekro, who had three. The other is current right-hander Charlie Morton, who reached 200 strikeouts in 2021 and 2022 and has 128 this season.


Each team made moves before Tuesday's trade deadline.

The Angels acquired right-hander Dominic Leone from the New York Mets for minor league shortstop Jeremiah Jackson. Leone, 31, was 1/3 with a 4.40 ERA in 31 games with the Mets.

Atlanta added veteran left-handed reliever Brad Hand in a trade which sent Double-A Mississippi right-hander Alec Barger to the Colorado Rockies.


Arcia and Harris are the bottom two hitters in Atlanta’s lineup. The Braves have nine hitters with 10 or more homers.

“Awesome,” said Strider of the lineup. “A key to our lineup is everybody contributing and to a man they have.”


Angels: Moniak started despite being bothered by a sore foot which led the team to recall OF Jordyn Adams from Triple-A Salt Lake. Moniak fouled a ball off his foot last weekend and may need a day off or late-innings relief. ... RHP Griffin Canning (right calf tightness) landed on the 15-day injured list. RHP Victor Mederos was recalled from Double-A Rocket City. ... LHP José Suarez’s rehab was shut down because of some shoulder soreness.

Braves: LHP Max Fried (left forearm strain) could come off the injured list in time to start on Friday at the Chicago Cubs. “Can be, yeah,” said manager Brian Snitker when asked if Fried was on pace for Friday's series opener. Snitker didn't commit to that plan.


RHP Yonny Chirinos (4-4, 4.34) of Atlanta and RHP Lucas Giolito (6-6, 3.79) of Los Angeles each will make his second start for his new team when the Braves and Angels complete their three-game series Wednesday. Giolito was acquired from the Chicago White Sox on July 26. Chirinos was acquired off waivers from Tampa Bay on July 23.


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