On Monday, Braves utilityman Charlie Culberson came off the bench and delivered a walk-off solo home run against the Mets. Not even a week later, Culberson played the role of hero again, coming off the bench and hitting another walk-off home run, this time against the Nationals on Sunday afternoon.
As the Braves’ Twitter notes, Culberson is the first player in the club’s Atlanta-era history to have two pinch-hit game-ending home runs in the same season.
With the victory, the Braves extend their first-place lead to 1.5 games over the Nationals. The Mets were shut out by the Cubs, falling seven games behind the Braves. The third-place Phillies are in progress against the Giants as of this writing.
Minnesota’s Josh Donaldson managed to get ejected while hitting a home run.
Donaldson barked at plate umpire Dan Bellino for the second time in the sixth inning of a 4-3 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Thursday.
With the score 2-2, Bellino called a strike when the 2015 AL MVP checked his swing on a 2-0 pitch from Reynaldo Lopez.
Manager Rocco Baldelli came out to speak with Bellino, and Donaldson homered down the left-field line on the next offering. After rounding the bases, Donaldson kicked dirt at home plate as he crossed it.
Bellino ejected him immediately, and Donaldson, realizing he had missed home plate, returned to the plate to touch it and then argued as he kicked more dirt on it.
Donaldson also had argued with Bellino on a 1-1 breaking ball in the first inning that appeared to be high but was called a strike, leading to a strikeout.
“We need Josh on the field, out there playing, and at third base,” Baldelli said. “That’s when we’re at our best. And so that’s really the end of it. I think we can move past it at his point, and go from here.”
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