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Braves' Riley homers day after mentor dies in car accident

Matthew Grimes Jr./Atlanta Braves / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Atlanta Braves third baseman Austin Riley hit a home run Sunday after finding out that his good friend and mentor Mike Brumley died in a car accident Saturday night. Brumley was a hitting instructor in the Braves' minor-league system from 2018-21.

Riley looked up and pointed to the sky after hitting a game-tying two-run blast in the eighth inning off Tampa Bay Rays reliever Jason Adam.

"He was in the back of my mind really all day," Riley said postgame, according to Mark Bowman of "It's just tough."

Riley added that he hadn't slept since finding out about Brumley's death at 2:30 a.m. The two became friends during Brumley's tenure with the organization.

"There's very few people who have been models in my baseball career," Riley said. "My dad is No. 1, and Mike Brumley has been No. 2. I feel for his family and his kids and everybody that he was close to."

Riley even met with Brumley to do some hitting work when the Braves were in Baltimore this past week.

"I talked to him on a regular basis," Riley said. "It's going to be tough going forward, just from a mental standpoint. I'm just going to have to pray harder and lean on God. It's in his hands."

Brumley, 61, played in the majors for eight years between 1987-95 before becoming a coach.

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