Braves win first postseason series in 19 years

ATLANTA — Ian Anderson dazzled in another shutout performance for Atlanta, and the Braves won a playoff series for the first time in almost two decades by sweeping the light-hitting Cincinnati Reds with a 5-0 victory Thursday.

Ronald Acuna Jr. had three hits for the NL East champions, including a run-scoring double in the fifth. After winning Wednesday’s series opener 1-0 in 13 innings, Atlanta broke open Game 2 on two-run homers by Marcell Ozuna and Adam Duvall off Raisel Iglesias in the eighth.

Ozuna took a mock “selfie” when he reached first base after crushing his blast, which traveled 487 feet.

“It felt good, it feels amazing. Yesterday against Trevor Bauer, I was telling to my teammates that I’m going to be ready, I’m going to be ready, if I hit a homer, I’m going to take a selfie in the middle of the home plate and first base. And the moment came, and I did it,” he told ESPN after the game.

Anderson struck out nine in six innings as the Braves snapped their record-tying string of losses in 10 consecutive postseason rounds since their last playoff series win in 2001. Atlanta will face Miami or the Chicago Cubs in the NL Division Series in Houston.

Just like in 2001, when Hall of Famers Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and John Smoltz helped lead the way, Atlanta’s pitching staff delivered.

The 22-year-old Anderson allowed two hits and walked two in his playoff debut after six regular-season starts. Will Smith, Chris Martin and Mark Melancon each threw one perfect inning.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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