Atlanta Braves manager Brian Snitker and star Freddie Freeman lauded the team's resilience in overcoming obstacles on the road to winning their first World Series since 1995.

The Braves claimed the best-of-seven World Series 4-2 thanks to a 7-0 win over the Houston Astros in Game 6, becoming the eighth side in a row to clinch the title away from home.

The triumph is Atlanta's first championship in 26 years, while it comes after they lost star outfield Ronaldo Acuna Jr. in July due to an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury along with starting pitcher Charlie Morton to a fractured fibula in Game 1 of the World Series.

Atlanta had off-field issues too, with two-time All-Star Marcell Ozuna placed on the commissioner's exempt list after being arrested and charged with aggravated assault in May.

The Braves traded in Alex Duvall and acquired Joc Pederson in July, with both hitting three home runs during the postseason, along with 10 and nine RBIs respectively.

"These guys never gave up on themselves. We used a lot of guys," Snitker said during the post-game ceremony.

"We lost a lot of pieces over the course of the summer. It was just the next man up. These guys never stopped believing in themselves.

"They never stopped working. I've got a rock star coaching staff that make sure these guys stay consistent every day. They always played the game the way you're supposed to play it."

Freeman, who has been with the Braves since 2010 and won last season's National League (NL) MVP, hailed the side's resilience.

"I think the most gratifying thing is this team, we hit every pothole, every bump that could've happened this year," Freeman said. "Injuries, everything that could've gone wrong. We overcame every single one of those things.

"This group came very single day, prepared and worked and worked and worked and ended up world champions."

Freeman, who padded the lead with a seventh-inning solo home run, added: "This is what you dream about every single year. You come to spring training wanting this to happen and it happened this year.

"It means everything. We've been waiting for a championship in this city for a long time. I'm glad we delivered it."

Snitker has spent all of his 45 seasons in professional baseball with the Braves, including the past six years as manager.

"It takes a lot to make this happen," Snitker said. "I'm very proud of our organisation and this club. There's nothing better. We're world champions."

Jorge Soler was named World Series MVP after hitting three go-ahead home runs across the six games. He becomes the second Cuban to claim the honour, behind Livan Hernandez with the Florida Marlins in 1997.

Soler also becomes the sixth player to hit three or more go-ahead home runs in a World Series, joining Babe Ruth (1926), Lou Gehrig (1928), Gene Tenace (1972), Curtis Granderson (2015) and George Springer (2017).

"I was just really focused during that at-bat," Soler said about his third-inning go-ahead three-run blast. "I feel like he'd thrown my every pitch he had in his arsenal so I just kept fouling the pitchers off and eventually got to that 3-2 count and he hung the slider and I was able to drive it."

The Atlanta Braves returned to the summit of MLB, claiming their first World Series crown in 26 years after blitzing the Houston Astros 7-0 on Tuesday.

Atlanta had the chance to clinch on home soil on Sunday but were denied by a desperate Astros franchise, who overturned a four-run deficit to prolong the best-of-seven series.

But the Braves were not to be denied in Game 6 as home runs from Jorge Soler, Dansby Swanson and Freddie Freeman secured a 4-2 series victory and their first World Series since 1995.

The drought-ending success delivered a fourth World Series title to the Braves, with all four championships being clinched in different cities – Boston, Milwaukee, Atlanta and Houston.

After two scoreless innings in Houston, the Braves seized control thanks to a three-run third inning at Minute Maid Park, where the bats of Astros stars Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa and Yordan Alvarez fell silent.

Soler was the instigator, his 446-foot three-run homer off Luis Garcia seeing him become the fourth player in Braves history to hit a three-run homer in a World Series after Hank Aaron (1957), Lonnie Smith (1991) and Ryan Klesko (1995).

 

The red-hot Braves did not let up in the fifth as Swanson delivered a two-run homer after Freeman's double had allowed Soler to score earlier in the inning.

Entering the game, Freeman had eight career postseason home runs, with half of them coming in 2021 and the Braves star tied a franchise record.

Freeman matched Fred McGriff with his fifth homer of the playoffs – a joint Braves record for most home runs in one postseason after going long in the seventh inning.

Braves ace Max Fried became the first starter in history to have six-plus strikeouts, zero walks and no runs in a potential World Series-clinching game.

The Atlanta Braves are one win away from clinching the World Series, but manager Brian Snitker insisted "I've been around too long to get ahead of myself".

Atlanta can claim their first MLB championship since 1995 by winning on Sunday thanks to Saturday's rallying 3-2 victory over the Houston Astros.

Dansby Swanson and Jorge Soler hit back-to-back homers in the seventh inning as the Braves overturned a 2-0 deficit at home to Houston in Game 4.

Snitker – the 2018 National League Manager of the Year – is remaining grounded, despite the Braves standing on the cusp of a drought-ending title.

"I just want to win tomorrow," Snitker said post-game. "I'd rather be up three than down three, I guess. But I've been around too long to get ahead of myself."

 

Jose Altuve put the Astros 2-0 ahead after scoring in the opening inning and homering in the fourth before Swanson and Soler took centre stage.

After Eddie Rosario scored in the sixth inning, Swanson levelled the contest with a solo homer in the seventh and Soler put the Braves ahead one batter later as Atlanta hit back-to-back home runs in a World Series for the first time in franchise history.

Soler became the fourth pinch-hitter to launch a go-ahead homer in the World Series and first since Ed Sprague in 1992, after Swanson became just the second Braves shortstop to hit a home run in the World Series after Johnny Logan in 1957.

"At the beginning of the year, I wasn't part of this team," Soler, who was acquired from the Kansas City Royals in July, said. "The organisation traded for me.

"Obviously, I'm grateful to be here. It truly means a lot to be able to be here with this group of guys."

Swanson added: "I feel like we were just kind of -- not dead all day, but I feel like they did such a good job of keeping us at bay for so long and we didn’t have too many opportunities.

"Then we were able to make something happen there in that inning. Man, just tremendous."

The Atlanta Braves are one win away from their first World Series championship since 1995 after rallying past the Houston Astros 3-2 in Game 4.

Atlanta hammered their way to within touching distance of a fourth World Series title thanks to back-to-back home runs from Dansby Swanson and Jorge Soler on Saturday.

Swanson levelled the contest with a solo homer in the seventh inning before Soler put the Braves ahead one batter later as Atlanta hit back-to-back home runs in a World Series for the first time in franchise history.

Soler became the fourth pinch-hitter to launch a go-ahead homer in the World Series and first since Ed Sprague in 1992.

 

The Astros had led 2-0 on the road courtesy of star Jose Altuve's fourth-inning solo hit after he opened the scoring in the first.

But Eddie Rosario sparked Atlanta's rally in the bottom of the sixth inning before Swanson – just the second Braves shortstop to hit a home run in the World Series after Johnny Logan in 1957 – and Soler took control in the seventh, finishing the job.

Atlanta's Dylan Lee became the first pitcher to make his first major league start in the World Series and he struck out one batter while giving up one run in 0.1 innings.

Astros veteran Zack Greinke pitched four scoreless innings, allowing just four hits while striking out three before team-mate Cristian Javier gave up two homers in the seventh.

 

Astros at Braves

The Braves can wrap up the World Series with a win over the Astros in Atlanta on Sunday.

The Toronto Blue Jays kept the American League (AL) Wild Card race wide open after ending the New York Yankees' seven-game winning streak with an entertaining 6-5 victory on Wednesday.

Bo Bichette homered twice as the Blue Jays recovered from blowing a 4-0 lead after the Yankees tied the MLB clash up in the seventh inning midweek.

Bichette's second home run of the game, with scores tied at 5-5 at the bottom of the eighth inning, proved decisive, with the 23-year-old getting a curtain call.

The result improved the Blue Jays to 88-70 to be a game adrift of the second and final Wild Card berth, while the Yankees are 90-68 in the four-team race for two spots, alongside the Boston Red Sox (89-69) and the Seattle Mariners (89-70).

Earlier, Blue Jays star Marcus Semien hit his 44th home run of the season, meaning he has the most homers in a season by a primary second baseman in MLB history.

Bichette and Semien both ticked over 100 RBI for the season, meaning the Blue Jays are the first team with four players (Teoscar Hernandez and Vladimir Guerrero Jr.) with 100-plus RBI in a season since the Atlanta Braves in 2003.

 

Brewers thwarts Cardinals' winning run

The St Louis Cardinals' extraordinary winning streak ended at 17 games after a 4-0 defeat to the Milwaukee Brewers. The Cardinals secured their postseason berth on Tuesday with their 17th straight win but home runs from Daniel Vogelbach and Manny Pina earned the National League (NL) Central division winners the run-ending victory. St Louis' winning streak will go down as the third longest by any team in the expansion area, behind the Cleveland Indians (22 in 2017) and the Oakland Athletics (20 in 2002).

The Braves moved a step closer to securing the NL East title thanks to a 7-2 win over the Philadelphia Phillies, with Dansby Swanson starring with a three-hit game including a two-run single in the seventh inning.

AL East champions the Tampa Bay Rays clinched top seed and home-field advantage via a 7-0 shutout of the Houston Astros aided by Ji-man Choi's three-run jack in the fifth inning. The victory also brought up the Rays' 98th for the season, setting a new franchise record.

World Series champions the Los Angeles Dodgers piled on five runs in the eighth inning to keep pace with the San Francisco Giants for NL seeding courtesy a come-from-behind 11-9 win over the San Diego Padres. The Giants stayed two games clear following a 1-0 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The Mariners stayed firmly in the AL Wild Card hunt with a 4-2 win over the Athletics. 

Reds season fizzles out

The Cincinnati Reds' promising season has petered out, with the NL Wild Card hopes officially over and a 6-1 loss to the Chicago White Sox underlined that. The Reds managed just four hits for the game, with their only run coming in the ninth inning.

 

Red Sox snap their skid

The Red Sox boosted their AL Wild Card aspirations as they ended their four-game losing span with a 6-0 triumph over the Baltimore Orioles. J.D. Martinez had three RBI, including a 444-foot home run, while Nathan Eovaldi had six scoreless innings and seven strikeouts on the mound.

 

Wednesday's results

Colorado Rockies 10-5 Washington Nationals
Chicago Cubs 3-2 Pittsburgh Pirates
Boston Red Sox 6-0 Baltimore Orioles
Toronto Blue Jays 6-5 New York Yankees
Miami Marlins 3-2 New York Mets
Atlanta Braves 7-2 Philadelphia Phillies
Minnesota Twins 5-2 Detroit Tigers
Milwaukee Brewers 4-0 St Louis Cardinals
Los Angeles Angels 7-2 Texas Rangers
Kansas City Royals 10-5 Cleveland Indians
Tampa Bay Rays 7-0 Houston Astros
Chicago White Sox 6-1 Cincinnati Reds
San Francisco Giants 1-0 Arizona Diamondbacks
Seattle Mariners 4-2 Oakland Athletics
Los Angeles Dodgers 11-9 San Diego Padres

 

Yankees at Blue Jays

On Thursday, the Blue Jays host rivals the Yankees for the penultimate time in their series in a critical game for the AL Wild Card race. After that, Toronto face the Orioles, while the Yankees meet the Rays.

The Boston Red Sox lost for the first time since the opening series of the season as the Minnesota Twins snapped a five-game losing streak of their own Thursday. 

German-born outfielder Max Kepler's bloop single in the ninth inning brought home Luis Arraez to end Boston's remarkable run of nine consecutive victories with a 4-3 Minnesota triumph.

On a day when every player in MLB wore number 42 to honour Jackie Robinson's barrier-breaking debut for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947, a sea of 42 jerseys gathered in celebration at Target Field.  

It was a gutsy display from the Twins, who built a 3-0 lead to back Michael Pineda's seven scoreless innings but watched the red-hot Red Sox score three in the eighth inning to equalise. 

Arraez sparked the winning rally in the final inning, though, allowing the Twins to relax a bit after a rough stretch.

"It's impossible to go out and play baseball and not feel it when it's going really well or when it's not going really well," said Twins manager Rocco Baldelli. "It's really how you harness that and control it at times and sometimes how you just let it go."

 

Braves stage rally of their own

The Atlanta Braves followed the same blueprint as the Twins, stopping a four-game skid of their own after blowing a lead and then rallying to win in their final at-bat. 

Atlanta avoided a four-game sweep by the Miami Marlins with a 7-6 victory capped by Dansby Swanson's game-ending single in the ninth. 

It was a fitting finish for a contest packed with momentum swings, as Miami went out to a 3-0 lead before the Braves jumped ahead 5-3 on home runs by Ronald Acuna Jr. and Pablo Sandoval. 

The Marlins scored three of their own to surge back in front before five of the six Braves to bat in the ninth reached base, ending in the win.

 

Corbin has no answers for Diamondbacks

Washington Nationals starter Patrick Corbin got bombed in an 11-6 loss to Arizona, surrendering 10 Diamondbacks runs (nine earned) on six hits and four walks in just two innings. Corbin watched the second and third batters of the game, Carson Kelly and Eduardo Escobar, hit solo homers, then gave up a grand slam to Andrew Young in the second inning. He departed the game against his former club with an unsightly 21.32 ERA.

 

Mercedes' monster moon shot

Toronto Blue Jays star Vladimir Guerrero Jr. muscled up on a hanging slider from Royals pitcher Kyle Zimmer for a 456-foot blast, the longest home run of his career, in the seventh inning of a 7-5 loss to Kansas City. 

 

Thursday's results
Atlanta Braves 7-6 Miami Marlins
San Diego Padres 8-3 Pittsburgh Pirates
Seattle Mariners 4-2 Baltimore Orioles
Seattle Mariners 2-1 Baltimore Orioles
Minnesota Twins 4-3 Boston Red Sox
Cleveland Indians 4-2 Chicago White Sox
Arizona Diamondbacks 11-6 Washington Nationals
Texas Rangers 6-4 Tampa Bay Rays
Kansas City Royals 7-5 Toronto Blue Jays
Oakland Athletics 8-4 Detroit Tigers
Los Angeles Dodgers 7-5 Colorado Rockies
Philadelphia Phillies-New York Mets (postponed)

 

Dodgers at Padres

The match-up of division rivals will feature the first MLB start for pitcher Ryan Weathers of the Padres (9-5) as he takes on Walker Buehler and the Dodgers (11-2).

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