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World Series: Braves’ Adam Duvall hits first-inning grand slam in Game 5, but Atlanta can’t hold on

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The Atlanta Braves were looking to close out the Houston Astros and the 2021 World Series on Sunday night. And outfielder Adam Duvall did his part early to help the cause. Duvall, one of several deadline additions the Braves made to their outfield, came to the plate with two outs and the bases loaded in the bottom of the first inning. He promptly emptied those bases with an opposite-field grand slam on the first pitch. 

Take a look:

Per Statcast’s calculations, Duvall’s home run left the bat traveling at 106 mph. The ball then carried some 377 feet.

Despite the lead and chance to clinch a World Series title for the first time since 1995, the Braves were unable to make the four-run cushion stick in a Game 5 loss.

According to MLB.com’s Sarah Langs, Duvall’s is the ninth first-inning grand slam in postseason history. Teams who have hit them are now 7-2, with both losses coming this October (Jordan Luplow and the Tampa Bay Rays dropped Game 2 of their American League Division Series to the Boston Red Sox). The Astros, by the way, are the first team in postseason history to give up two first-inning grand slams in the same postseason, per Jayson Stark of The Athletic.

The Braves acquired Duvall from the Miami Marlins at the deadline. He hit .226/.287/.513 (104 OPS+) with 16 home runs after the trade, giving him a seasonal line of .228/.281/.491 (102 OPS+) and 38 home runs. This year marked the third time in Duvall’s career he’s launched at least 30 home runs during a single season.

In addition to Duvall, the Braves also traded for Jorge Soler, Eddie Rosario, and Joc Pederson at the deadline. Each of the four have provided a memorable moment or two during Atlanta’s postseason run, which makes for an interesting World Series MVP race.

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