08/20 22:36 CDT Freeman's 2 homers, 4 RBIs carry Braves past Marlins 5-1
Freeman's 2 homers, 4 RBIs carry Braves past Marlins 5-1
By PAUL NEWBERRY
AP Sports Writer
ATLANTA (AP) --- Freddie Freeman took an unintended break this past weekend.
He was back at work Tuesday night.
The Atlanta slugger homered twice and drove in four runs, leading the Braves
past the Miami Marlins 5-1 in another testy game between the NL East rivals.
After going 0-for-12 with five strikeouts during a three-game series against
the Dodgers, this was more line with what the Braves expect from Freeman.
"You knew somebody was going to pay," Atlanta manager Brian Snitker said. "It
was inevitable. You're not going to keep that guy down."
Freeman sent one went the opposite way into the Marlins bullpen against Elieser
Hernandez in the fourth. The next inning, he went deep again with two outs to
break a 1-1 tie, launching a pitch from Tyler Kinley (1-1) into the right-field
seats for his 33rd homer of the season.
The third Miami pitcher, Austin Brice, didn't fare any better against Freeman,
giving up a two-run single in the seventh.
Freeman now has 102 RBIs --- the second 100-RBI season of his career. He had
109 in 2013.
"That was a long three days," Freeman said, referring to his struggles against
the Dodgers. "I took the weekend off."
Dallas Keuchel (4-5) went six innings, limiting the Marlins to Jon Berti's
third-inning homer --- quite an improvement from the eight runs and 10 hits he
surrendered in 3 2/3 innings at Miami on Aug. 8. The left-hander benefited from
a pair of double plays and stranded six runners, four of them in scoring
His last pitch was a high fastball that fanned Jorge Alfaro with runners at
first and third.
"We had some chances," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "The double-play
balls hurt us more than anything else."
Hernandez plunked Atlanta star Ronald Acua Jr. in the back with his very first
pitch of the game, rekindling tensions between the teams and leading to
Last season, Jose Urea was suspended after he drilled Acua with a pitch. In
May, then-Braves pitcher Kevin Gausman was kicked out for throwing behind Urea.
Acua lingered in front of home plate, staring down Hernandez, before being
ushered to first. When plate umpire Alan Porter warned both teams against
further retaliation, Snitker popped out of the dugout and was given the heave
by crew chief Mark Wegner.
"I felt like if they needed to give him a warning, they should've thrown him
out of the game," Snitker said. "Especially in light of the past things that
Mattingly said there was "zero intent."
"There's no reason for us to hit Acua," the manager said.
Hernandez struck another hitter in the fourth, getting Adeiny Hechavarria on
the left elbow, but the umpires took no action. Acting Braves manager Walt
Weiss emerged from the dugout and could be seen asking Porter, "What did you
give the warning for?"
Marlins: Hernandez was lifted after four innings and 68 pitches because of a
blister on his right middle finger. He was listed as day to day. ... RHP Pablo
Lopez (shoulder strain) is set to throw a rehab start at Triple-A New Orleans
on Wednesday, which could be one of his final tuneups before a return to the
Braves: C Brian McCann left the game after the third inning because of left
knee soreness, another potential blow to a team already reeling from a rash of
injuries. ... OF Austin Riley (knee) worked out on the field before the game
and may be able to begin a rehab stint in the minors by the weekend. ... SS
Dansby Swanson (foot) is set to take batting practice and run the bases before
Wednesday's game, though there's still no timetable for his return.
Keuchel recorded the 1,000th strikeout of his career when he fanned Hernandez
on three pitches to start the third.
The Braves lefty tossed the ball into the dugout as a souvenir, while the crowd
gave him a short ovation.
Snitker praised the Braves' decision to add protective netting all the way to
the foul poles at SunTrust Park.
While Major League Baseball has yet to require netting beyond the dugouts, the
Braves joined a growing list of teams by announcing Monday that extra
protection will go up by the end of September.
"I don't know of anybody who puts a uniform on that doesn't embrace it,"
New Braves outfielder Billy Hamilton agreed.
"You never want to see someone get hurt at a baseball game," he said. "If a kid
comes to his first game and gets hit, he'll never want to come to a game again."
Braves RHP Julio Teheran will look to bounce back from the shortest start of
his career when he goes Wednesday in the second of three games between the
teams. Teheran (7-8, 3.71 ERA) lasted just 1 1/3 innings against the New York
Mets last Thursday, surrendering six runs. The Marlins will go with LHP Caleb
Smith (8-6, 3.63), who is 1-2 with a 5.73 ERA in four career starts vs. Atlanta.
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