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Ozuna, Albies go back-to-back as Braves beat Brewers 6-3

Marcell Ozuna and Ozzie Albies hit Atlanta’s first back-to-back homers of the season to help the Braves snap a three-game skid with a 6-3 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Friday night.

Atlanta led 2-1 before Ozuna and Albies went deep against reliever Eric Lauer.

On Lauer’s first pitch of the fifth inning, Ozuna blasted a 439-foot drive to center field that bounced off the American Family Insurance sign at the bottom of the scoreboard. Ozuna heard a chorus of boos from the Milwaukee crowd when he stopped as he rounded third base to pose for an imaginary selfie, a home run celebration he started doing during the 2020 postseason.

Atlanta Braves' Ozzie Albies is congratulated by Dansby Swanson after hitting a home run during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Milwaukee Brewers Friday, May 14, 2021, in Milwaukee. (AP PhotoMorry Gash)

Albies followed Ozuna’s shot by sending a 3-2 pitch over the center-field wall as well. Albies’ homer was projected at 425 feet.

After the Braves squandered leads each of the last three days against Toronto, they built a five-run advantage and hung on this time. Atlanta's beleaguered bullpen still made things interesting, as Josh Tomlin allowed back-to-back homers to Luis Urías and Manny Piña in the ninth inning.

Atlanta starter Drew Smyly, who signed a one-year, $11 million contract with the Braves in the offseason, showed he is starting to come around after a rough first month with his new team.

Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Drew Smyly throws during the first inning of a baseball game against the Milwaukee Brewers Friday, May 14, 2021, in Milwaukee. (AP PhotoMorry Gash)

The 31-year-old left-hander has lasted six innings while giving up just one run in each of his last two starts. Smyly (2-2) allowed 21 runs — 17 earned — over 19 innings in four April starts.

Milwaukee, which has lost nine of 12, took a 1-0 lead in the second when Urías’ single through a drawn-in infield brought home Avisaíl García from third.

The Braves capitalized on Brewers starter Adrian Houser’s wildness to pull ahead for good in the third.

Milwaukee Brewers' Eric Lauer throws during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Atlanta Braves Friday, May 14, 2021, in Milwaukee. (AP PhotoMorry Gash)

After Houser (3-4) walked the bases loaded, Austin Riley hit a two-out shot that appeared to go off the pitcher’s right leg before heading into center field for a single that scored Ehire Adrianza and Ozuna.

Houser entered the night having walked just five batters over his last five starts, but he matched that total Friday while lasting a season-low three innings. His five walks were a career high in 37 starts.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Milwaukee Brewers' Avisail Garcia makes a catch on a ball hit by Atlanta Braves' Freddie Freeman during the third inning of a baseball game Friday, May 14, 2021, in Milwaukee. (AP PhotoMorry Gash)

Braves: OF Ronald Acuña Jr., who entered this series with an MLB-leading 12 homers, wasn’t in the lineup after injuring his left ankle while trying to beat out a grounder a day earlier. Manager Brian Snitker said there’s a chance Acuña could play Saturday. … OF Cristian Pache went on the 10-day injured list with right hamstring inflammation. The Braves returned OF Ender Inciarte from a rehabilitation assignment and activated him from the IL.

Brewers: OF Christian Yelich began a rehab assignment with Triple-A Nashville. He struck out in his only two at-bats. The 2018 NL MVP has played only one game for Milwaukee since April 11 due to a lower back strain.

UP NEXT

Atlanta Braves' Austin Riley hits a two-run scoring single during the third inning of a baseball game against the Milwaukee Brewers Friday, May 14, 2021, in Milwaukee. (AP PhotoMorry Gash)

It’s a matchup of Andersons as the Braves and Brewers continue their series Saturday in Milwaukee. RHP Ian Anderson (2-1, 3.46 ERA) starts for Atlanta against LHP Brett Anderson (2-2, 3.54).

Follow Steve Megargee at https://twitter.com/stevemegargee

More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Atlanta Braves' Austin Riley hits a two-run scoring single during the third inning of a baseball game against the Milwaukee Brewers Friday, May 14, 2021, in Milwaukee. (AP PhotoMorry Gash)

Milwaukee Brewers' Luis Urias hits an RBI single during the second inning of a baseball game against the Milwaukee Brewers Friday, May 14, 2021, in Milwaukee. (AP PhotoMorry Gash)

Milwaukee Brewers' Luis Urias hits an RBI single during the second inning of a baseball game against the Milwaukee Brewers Friday, May 14, 2021, in Milwaukee. (AP PhotoMorry Gash)