By GEORGE HENRY
ATLANTA (AP) — This is why Brian McCann came back to play for his hometown Atlanta Braves, to deliver with his bat in a big spot.
“That was one of the best moments I’ve ever had,” McCann said. “To be able to get the win and the fashion that it happened is something I’ll always remember.”
McCann capped Atlanta’s three-run ninth inning with a two-run single off Héctor Neris, and the Braves beat the Philadelphia Phillies 9-8 on Friday night for their eighth straight win.
Atlanta improved to 23-9 since May 10 and opened a 2 1/2-game lead over Philadelphia in the NL East. It was the first game between the division rivals since the Phillies swept three games from the Braves in late March.
Most of the sellout crowd of 41,975, the largest of the season at SunTrust Park, stood on its feet after Dansby Swanson led off the ninth with a single. Nick Markakis walked with two outs, and Swanson scored on rookie Austin Riley’s double.
McCann then reached down and drove an opposite-field single into the gap in left-center, giving him 1,000 RBIs for his career.
McCann, a seven-time All-Star who grew up in the Atlanta suburbs, spent the last five seasons in the AL, but decided to return to the team that drafted him so he could help the Braves win a World Series.
“This is home for me,” he said. “This town, this city means a lot to me. It’s where I grew up. To be able to come back home and do this is right up there with one of the best moments I’ve ever had.”
He compared this year’s Braves to his former club in Houston, which won the World Series in 2017.
“It’s very special,” McCann said. “I just think the way we show up every day. The way guys go about their business, to the preparation, we show up ready to win every single day.”
Neris (1-3) was attempting to go 15 for 15 in save chances this year, but couldn’t find the formula on his 30th birthday. He recorded two outs and allowed three hits in Philadelphia’s fourth loss in five games.
“I have the highest level of trust in him in that situation,” manager Gabe Kapler said. “We felt really good in the dugout about it. It’s just a devastating loss. We’ll lick our wounds, come back and be ready to fight again.”
Jerry Blevins (1-0) pitched the ninth for the win.
Bryce Harper and Rhys Hoskins each hit a two-run homer for the Phillies, and Scott Kingery added a solo drive.
Philadelphia dropped to 34-7 this season when scoring at least four runs. It had won 15 of its last 17 previous such games.
Harper, booed all night long, put Philadelphia up 3-1 in the third with his 12th homer, which sailed into the Atlanta bullpen in right-center. Kingery’s eighth homer landed in the left-field seats in the fourth.
Hoskins’ 15th homer, coming off Dan Winkler, made it 7-2 in the seventh. Kingery, who went 3 for 4, doubled in the eighth and scored on a sacrifice fly to make it 8-4.
Phillies starter Nick Pivetta allowed four runs and eight hits in 6 2/3 innings.
Atlanta starter Max Fried was chased with two outs in the fifth. He was charged with five runs and seven hits, leaving him with a 7.52 ERA in his last four starts.
McCann, Freddie Freeman and Josh Donaldson each hit a solo shot for the Braves. Ozzie Albies and Ronald Acuña Jr. each had two hits.
The Braves, who have scored at least six runs in six straight games, own their first eight-game winning streak since May 17-25, 2013.
Phillies: RHP Seranthony Domínguez (right ulnar collateral ligament) decided not to have surgery and underwent a platelet injection instead. He will be re-evaluated in three weeks.
Phillies: RHP Aaron Nola (6-1, 4.58 ERA) is 0-1 with a 6.75 ERA in two starts this month. He went 4-0 with a 2.73 ERA in six May starts. In 13 career starts against Atlanta, Nola is 8-3 with a 2.05 ERA.
Braves: LHP Sean Newcomb (1-0, 2.59 ERA) will make his first start since getting recalled May 4 from Triple-A Gwinnett.
By CHARLES ODUM
ATLANTA (AP) — Josh Donaldson drove in the tie-breaking run in Atlanta’s five-run fifth inning to win his rematch with Joe Musgrove, and the Braves beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 6-5 on Thursday to complete a four-game sweep.
The Braves have won seven straight to pass Philadelphia for the NL East lead. The Phillies and Braves open a three-game series on Friday night.
Julio Teheran (5-3) allowed two runs, one earned, in six innings. He has allowed no more than one earned run in his last eight starts.
Luke Jackson gave up Starling Marte’s run-scoring single in the ninth before recovering for his 10th save in 15 chances. Marte’s single past shortstop Dansby Swanston drove in Bryan Reynolds, who doubled and advanced to third on catcher Brian McCann’s passed ball.
The Pirates have lost seven straight after failing to hold an early 2-1 lead against Teheran in this one.
Musgrove (4-7) struck out Donaldson in the first inning. It was their first meeting since Musgrove hit Donaldson with a pitch on Monday night, igniting a confrontation that led to both players’ ejections. The short outing gave Musgrove the rare opportunity of making two starts in the same series.
Musgrove hit Swanson with a first-inning pitch, but there was no sign of leftover bad feelings from the skirmish three days earlier.
Freddie Freeman’s triple to the right-field corner in the fifth drove in Swanson to tie the game. Donaldson, who is appealing his one-game suspension for his role in the confrontation, hit a single to right off Musgrove to drive in Freeman.
Ozzie Albies added a two-run double to center field in the big inning.
The Braves’ poor outfield defense helped Pittsburgh take the lead in the fourth. Left fielder Matt Joyce lost Colin Moran’s fly ball in the sun, missing his late lunge for the ball as Moran moved to second on the error. Moran scored when Elias Díaz doubled past a diving Ronald Acuña Jr. in center field.
Musgrove faced five batters in the fifth without recording an out. He allowed six runs on nine hits and two walks.
Pittsburgh pinch-hitter Corey Dickerson and Bryan Reynolds had run-scoring doubles off Touki Toussaint in the seventh. Reynolds drove in two runs with three hits.
Braves manager Brian Snitker was ejected by home plate umpire Tripp Gibson after Gibson’s called strike three on Acuña ended the fourth inning with runners on first and second. Snitker objected to the high strike call.
Pirates: RHP Trevor Williams (right side strain) was to make a rehab start for Triple-A Indianapolis on Thursday night. He could return to Pittsburgh’s rotation next week. … RHP Chris Stratton (right side discomfort) allowed one run in two innings in his first rehab game with Indianapolis on Tuesday night. … RHP Jordan Lyles (right side discomfort) is expected to throw in the bullpen during this weekend’s series in Miami.
Braves: OF Austin Riley did not start but was used as a pinch-hitter after he was hit by a pitch on his left hand and wrist on Wednesday night. Riley’s pinch-hit groundout ended the seventh.
Pirates: LHP Steven Brault (2-1, 5.05) will make his sixth start of the season on Friday night at Miami against RHP Trevor Richards (3-6, 3.31 ERA).
Braves: LHP Max Fried (7-3, 3.75) will face Philadelphia RHP Nick Pivetta (4-2, 4.93) in the opening game of a weekend series between the NL East leaders on Friday night.
By GEORGE HENRY
ATLANTA (AP) — Austin Riley knew he had a good chance to score from first base as soon as Ozzie Albies made contact.
The power-hitting left fielder just didn’t know whether he’d get the green light from third base coach Ron Washington.
“I knew it was in the gap, so run as hard as I can,” Riley said. “If he wants to stop me, he’ll stop me. He didn’t stop me. A good hit by Ozzie and a good team win.”
Riley tied the game with a solo homer in the ninth inning and scored the winning run on Albies’ double off Michael Feliz in the 11th, leading the Atlanta Braves past the Pittsburgh Pirates 8-7 for their sixth straight victory Wednesday night.
The Braves (39-29) took over sole possession of first place in the NL East and moved 10 games over .500 for the first time this season.
Josh Bell hit a tiebreaking solo homer off Atlanta closer Luke Jackson in the top of the ninth. Riley, who had a two-run triple in the first, took Kyle Crick deep to make it 7-all in the bottom half.
After Riley was hit by a pitch on his left hand in the 11th, Albies drove a gapper into right-center and Riley slid headfirst across the plate to end it.
“As soon as I hit it in the gap,” Albies said, “I knew he would score and win this game.”
Jacob Webb (4-0) pitched two innings to earn the victory.
Feliz (2-3) took the loss.
Rain delayed the game for 55 minutes in the seventh.
Braves starter Mike Soroka allowed career highs of five runs and 10 hits in five innings. The 21-year-old began the night having given up one run or less in nine of 10 starts this season, but did not factor in the decision. Soroka, whose ERA rose 54 points to 1.92, walked one and struck out three.
Atlanta led 3-0 in the first on Nick Markakis’ opposite-field RBI single and Riley’s triple. The Braves were up 4-2 in the second after Freddie Freeman’s RBI single and 6-2 in the third following Soroka’s two-run single.
Pittsburgh made it 3-2 in the second on RBI singles by Adam Frazier and Elías Díaz and 6-4 in the fourth on Kevin Newman’s two-run double. Starling Marte’s 10th homer cut the margin to 6-5 in the fifth.
The Pirates tied it 6-all in the sixth against Josh Tomlin. Gregory Polanco had a pinch-hit single, advanced to third on Newman’s single and scored on Corey Dickerson’s sacrifice fly.
“We had our backs against the wall a little bit, but we battled back and gave ourselves a chance,” said Bell, who leads the majors with 61 RBIs. “It’s good mojo going into tomorrow.”
Mitch Keller, making his second career start for Pittsburgh, allowed six runs and 10 hits in three innings. His ERA rose 1.93 points to 15.43.
Pirates: Director of sports medicine Tom Tomcyzk said C Francisco Cervelli, on the injured list since May 26 with a concussion, has no symptoms and is scheduled to be re-examined by a neurologist in the next couple of days. Tomcyzk said Cervelli feels normal in everyday life, but has yet to be cleared. The 33-year-old Cervelli has a long history with head injuries during his 12-year career, including six documented concussions since 2011.
Braves: CF Ender Inciarte, on the injured list since May 15 with a lumbar strain, still has no timetable to resume baseball activities. “It’s still biting him a bit. I think he has good days, has bad days, taking it a day at a time,” manager Brian Snitker said. “He’s not in that position now to even look ahead where he might — until he starts running the bases, hitting and all that stuff.”
Braves shortstop Dansby Swanson saved a run in the third. Running into left field, he bumped into third baseman Josh Donaldson a bit as both players pursued the shallow fly. Swanson called off Donaldson and Riley to turn and make a difficult basket catch.
The rookie slugger became the fastest player in franchise history to reach 10 homers, doing so in 26 games to break the mark set by Wally Berger of the Boston Braves in 1930. Riley also tied Earl Torgeson of the 1947 Boston Braves as the quickest to 29 RBIs, in 26 games. … Riley had his left hand wrapped in ice after the game. He said he was sore from getting hit by the pitch, but not in pain.
The Braves signed their first-round draft pick, Baylor catcher Shea Langeliers. Atlanta chose Langeliers with the ninth overall selection, which it received as compensation for not signing last year’s No. 8 pick, pitcher Carter Stewart.
Pirates: RHP Joe Musgrove (4-6, 4.40 ERA) starts for the second time in the four-game series after getting ejected in the first inning Monday following a confrontation with Donaldson.
Braves: RHP Julio Teheran (4-3, 3.03) is 2-0 with a 0.70 ERA in his last seven starts.
By GEORGE HENRY
ATLANTA (AP) — Now that his knee is healthy, Brian McCann showed he has plenty of power left at 35 years old.
McCann hit one of four Atlanta homers in the second inning and took Pirates starter Chris Archer deep again with a tiebreaking, three-run shot in the sixth to help the Braves beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 7-5 on Tuesday night.
“It probably hurt me for a little bit there, but once I got it fixed and I came back in September last year, I knew I could make an aggressive move on the baseball,” he said. “I’m healthy. I feel good. Got my bat speed back.”
The Braves, tied for first in the NL East, have won five straight. The game was called following a 1-hour, 48-minute rain delay after eight innings.
McCann put the Braves up 7-4 in the sixth, pulling a fastball into the right-field seats. He made a winner of Touki Toussaint (4-0), who relieved after another ineffective start by Mike Foltynewicz.
The Braves hit four homers off Archer to take a 4-2 lead in the second as Josh Donaldson and Nick Markakis went back-to-back and were followed one batter later by McCann and Ozzie Albies.
Donaldson’s ninth homer ricocheted off the right-field foul pole, and Markakis followed with a 417-foot homer to center, his sixth of the year. McCann’s opposite-field shot sailed into left-center. He was followed by Albies, who pulled his 10th homer into the right-field seats.
“We have speed, we’re athletic, we make you throw strikes,” said McCann, who’s back with the Braves after five years in the AL. “We’re tough to get through on a nightly basis from top to bottom, so it’s nice to show it again tonight.”
Archer gave up seven runs and eight hits with two walks while striking out eight in six innings. He had won two straight starts after dropping five in a row. His five homers allowed were a single-game career high.
“Man, I was throwing stuff right down the middle,” Archer said. “No matter how hard you’re throwing, how good your stuff was the inning before or the game before, if you throw stuff down the middle, you’re going to get blasted and they’re an aggressive team. They jumped me. I didn’t make the adjustment. That was pretty much the ballgame.”
Foltynewicz’s ERA rose 13 points to 6.02. He threw a wild pitch that advanced two runners in the first and trailed 2-0 on Josh Bell’s two-run single. He began the third by walking the pitcher. He walked Bell to begin the fourth and allowed him to score when Colin Moran’s double made it 4-3.
The Pirates tied it at 4-all in the fifth when Kevin Newman singled, advanced to third on Corey Dickerson’s single and scored on a grounder.
Foltynewicz, a first-time All-Star last season, allowed four runs and five hits with four walks and five strikeouts in five innings. Toussaint allowed two hits and struck out two in 1 2/3 innings.
Bryan Reynolds’ pinch-hit, RBI triple off Anthony Swarzak cut the lead to 7-5 in the eighth.
A.J. Minter was back with the Braves for the first time since getting sent to the minors five weeks ago and losing the closer’s role. He allowed one run and one hit with one strikeout in one inning.
BEEN A WHILE
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the last time the Pirates allowed four homers in an inning was July 8, 1956, against the New York Giants when Willie Mays, Hank Thompson, Daryl Spencer and Wes Westrum went deep in the fourth at the Polo Grounds. … The last time the Braves homered four times in an inning was May 28, 2003, when Rafael Furcal, Mark DeRosa, Gary Sheffield and Javy Lopez went deep in the first off Cincinnati starter Jeff Austin. … The last time the Braves hit consecutive homers twice in the same inning was June 8, 1965 when Milwaukee’s Joe Torre, Felipe Alou, Hank Aaron and Gene Oliver went deep in the 10th inning at the Chicago Cubs.
Bell has 60 RBIs and began the game leading the majors.
Atlanta placed RHP Kevin Gausman on the injured list with plantar fasciitis. … Pirates RHP Chris Stratton, sidelined with right side discomfort, was to begin a rehab assignment with Indianapolis.
McCann’s first homer was his first as a Brave in Atlanta since September 13, 2013, against San Diego. … The second, his fifth of the season, gave him 15 career multi-homer games.
Pirates: RHP Mitch Keller (0-1, 13.50 ERA) is expected to be recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis and make his second career start.
Braves: RHP Mike Soroka (7-1, 1.38 ERA) will face Pittsburgh for the first time. The 21-year-old is 6-0 with a 1.01 ERA in eight night starts this season, a span of 53 2/3 innings.
By CHARLES ODUM
ATLANTA (AP) — The Atlanta Braves stayed hot by hitting five home runs on a night a first-inning, stare-down contest created the biggest stir.
Ronald Acuña Jr. hit a grand slam, Ozzie Albies added two homers and the Braves beat Pittsburgh 13-7 on Monday night after Pirates starter Joe Musgrove was ejected in a first-inning fracas.
The Braves hit five homers, including two-run shots by Nick Markakis and Freddie Freeman. Markakis had four hits and drove in four runs.
Starling Marte hit two homers and drove in four runs for Pittsburgh.
Atlanta has won four straight, while the Pirates are on a four-game skid.
Musgrove hit Josh Donaldson with a first-inning pitch. As Donaldson began walking to first base, he exchanged glares with Musgrove, took a few steps toward the mound and then shoved catcher Elias Díaz, who intervened. The umpires huddled and announced ejections for Musgrove and Donaldson.
Pirates manager Clint Hurdle also was ejected by home plate umpire Brian Gorman after arguing the decision to toss Musgrove.
Musgrove’s pitch only grazed Donaldson’s jersey, but players from both dugouts and bullpens charged onto the field following the confrontation as Musgrove took off his cap and removed his glove. No punches were thrown and the field was quickly cleared.
Donaldson said he wasn’t “really all that upset at all about getting hit by the pitch. It barely clipped me.” He said he responded to an aggressive reaction by Musgrove.
“I feel like he came down the mound afterward,” Donaldson said. “I looked away to try to give him a chance to look away from me. He kept coming down the mound and looking at me and obviously he had a problem with something.”
Musgrove said he “did nothing more than stand my ground.”
Musgrove said Donaldson “stared at me and tried to intimidate me and I’m not going to let that happen. I looked back at him and he had something to say and he crossed the line and came at me so I took my hat and glove off and got ready to fight and that got me tossed. I don’t know what else I could do in that situation. … I’m not going to run away and hide.”
Hurdle placed the blame on Donaldson.
“The hard part is if the batter goes to first none of this happens,” Hurdle said.
Braves right-hander Kevin Gausman struggled despite being given a 5-1 lead in the second inning. Gausman was pulled in the third when he gave up a three-run homer to Marte.
“The last couple of outings haven’t been very good and it didn’t look like it was going anywhere good today,” said Braves manager Brian Snitker.
Marte hit another homer off Jerry Blevins in the eighth for his first multi-homer game since Aug. 18, 2014, also against Atlanta.
Left-hander Sean Newcomb (1-0) relieved Gausman and allowed only one hit with six strikeouts in 4 2/3 innings. Jacob Webb earned his second save. He entered the game with a 10-7 lead and recorded the final four outs.
Right-hander Alex McRae (0-2), who replaced Musgrove, allowed eight runs, six earned. He gave up three homers in 4 1/3 innings.
Gausman allowed four runs, two earned, on five hits in 2 1/3 innings. His ERA climbed to 6.21.
Pirates: RHP Jordan Lyles was placed on the 10-day injured list with tightness in his left hamstring. Lyles lasted only three innings in Saturday’s loss at Milwaukee. Hurdle said Lyles’ hamstring issue caused “collateral damage” to the bullpen. … RHP Montana DuRapau was recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis and gave up three runs in the eighth.
Braves: There is no timetable on the return of OF Ender Inciarte (back). Inciarte was placed on the 10-day IL on May 15 and continues to have discomfort. … LHP Dallas Keuchel, the 2015 AL Cy Young Award winner who signed a one-year deal with Atlanta last week, allowed only one hit and had nine strikeouts in seven scoreless innings for Class A Rome. He may make his Atlanta debut after one more minor league start.
MILESTONE FOR MARKAKIS
Markakis earned an ovation in the sixth inning after his run-scoring single gave him 1,000 career RBIs. Markakis, who rarely shows emotion, tipped his helmet to the fans and briefly smiled. The Braves had a clubhouse toast for Markakis following the game.
“Like I said, it just means I’m getting old,” the 35-year-old Markakis said, before adding, “It was a good night.”
Pirates rookie Bryan Reynolds went 0-for-5, ending his 17-game hitting streak and 24-game streak of reaching base safely.
The 436-foot shot to left field was Acuña’s first career regular-season slam . He hit a slam in last season’s NL division series loss to the Dodgers.
Pirates: RHP Chris Archer (3-5, 5.20 ERA) will make his second straight start against the Braves after allowing one run in six innings in a 6-1 home win on Thursday.
Braves: RHP Mike Foltynewicz (1-5, 5.89) is 1-4 with a 6.26 ERA in five career starts against the Pirates. He allowed three runs in six innings in Thursday’s loss at Pittsburgh.
ROME, Ga. (AP) — Dallas Keuchel dominated in his first minor league game since signing with the Atlanta Braves, pitching one-hit ball for seven scoreless innings for Class A Rome on Monday night.
Keuchel, the 2015 AL Cy Young Award winner, struck out nine against Charleston in the South Atlantic League.
The 31-year-old Keuchel might make his Atlanta debut after one more minor league start.
Keuchel signed a one-year deal last week that pays him $13 million. The two-time All-Star went 12-11 with a 3.74 ERA in 34 starts last season for Houston.
Keuchel was scheduled to pitch Saturday for Triple-A Gwinnett against Durham, but the game was postponed because of the weather. The Braves have not announced plans for Keuchel’s next start.
By STEVEN WINE
MIAMI (AP) — The Atlanta Braves’ latest win over the Miami Marlins was so difficult to describe that Brian Snitker needed two hyphens for one word.
“Stick-to-itiveness,” the Braves manager said.
Yep, it’s in the dictionary, and next to it should be the box score from Atlanta’s wild 12-inning comeback victory Sunday.
The Braves overcame a 5-1 deficit in the ninth against closer Sergio Romo. One run came home on a balk, and Acuña tied the score with one out by pulling an 0-1 slider for his 14th homer.
“Wow,” a dazed Romo said to himself as Acuña circled the bases.
“I was extremely excited,” Acuña said through a translator. “This team fights every moment of the game until the 27th out is recorded.”
Or the 36th out, in Sunday’s case.
The Braves earned their seventh consecutive victory in Miami, a record in the series, and have won eight of the nine games between teams this year. They swept the Marlins for the 25th time, and for the second time in 2019.
“You get tired of dealing with those guys, honestly,” Miami manager Don Mattingly said. “They’re a tough club to beat.”
Atlanta (36-29) climbed seven games above .500 for the first time. Miami (23-40) backslid after a recent 13-6 stretch.
“The Marlins were playing exceptional baseball,” Joyce said. “It was pretty cool to battle back and steal that one from them late.”
Both teams scored in the 10th, the Braves thanks to four consecutive two-out walks by Tyler Kinley. Ozzie Albies hit a one-out triple in the 12th off Adam Conley (1-6) and scored on Joyce’s third hit of the game.
The clutch hits were a change for the Braves, who began the ninth batting 8 for 58 (.086) with runners in scoring position on their six-game trip.
“The guys kept coming and never quit,” Snitker said. “It would have been easy just to cash it in.”
Braves closer Luke Jackson blew a save in the 10th when Martin Prado hit an RBI double, but the right-hander limited the damage by striking out the next two batters to end the inning.
Dan Winkler (3-1) retired both batters he faced in the 11th. Josh Tomlin, the Braves’ eighth pitcher, worked around a one-out single in the 12th for his first big league save — he had three saves in the minors, back in 2008 at Class A.
Austin Dean had three run-scoring hits for Miami, including a homer to lead off the first inning, and hiked his average from .183 to .219.
Atlanta’s Max Fried gave up three runs in six innings and doubled home the Braves’ first run in the third. Pablo Lopez allowed one run in six innings for Miami, lowering his home ERA to 1.78 in six starts this year.
The Braves improved to 47-23 at Marlins Park.
Romo blamed execution rather than pitch selection for his meltdown.
“I’ve got to be better than that,” he said. “It definitely hurts.”
Romo’s ERA rose to 5.48. A shaky bullpen is one reason Miami has the worst record in the National League.
“We’ve had our share of these types of losses,” Mattingly said. “These are the ones that hurt the worst.”
Second baseman Albies saved a run in the fifth. With runners at the corners and two out, he made a running backhanded grab of Brian Anderson’s one-hopper up the middle, and whirled and threw to first for the out.
Braves: They return home to open a four-game series against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday, when RHP Kevin Gausman (2-5, 6.15) is scheduled to start.
Marlins: RHP Sandy Alcantara (3-5, 3.80) is scheduled to start Monday when Miami opens a three-game series at home against St. Louis. The Cardinals are 60-35 in Miami.
Follow Steven Wine on Twitter: http://twitter.com/Steve_Wine
MIAMI (AP) — Rookie Austin Riley and the Atlanta Braves made the most of their hits, thanks to Julio Teheran and a trio of relievers.
Teheran pitched six sharp innings and Riley scored the only run, lifting the Braves over the Miami Marlins 1-0 on Saturday.
Riley gave extra effort for a leadoff double in the seventh against Trevor Richards. Riley’s hard grounder glanced off the glove of shortstop Miguel Rojas and rolled into the outfield.
“I just hustled and then once I saw it get through I maybe knew I had a chance and heard ‘go, go, go, go,’ and I was going,” Riley said.
Riley took third on a flyball and scored on Tyler Flowers’ sacrifice fly.
The Braves won despite getting only three hits and improved to 5-0 this season at Marlins Park. Miami, which was shut out for the 11th time this season, had just four hits.
Atlanta had outscored the Marlins 26-6 in the previous four wins in Miami.
Teheran (4-4) gave up two hits and struck out five. He has not allowed more than one earned run in each of his last seven starts.
″(Teheran) was great again. I’m just glad we got him a win … he was awesome,” Atlanta manager Brian Snitker said.
Teheran wasn’t thinking about the pitchers’ duel but on being effective when the Marlins threatened in the third and sixth innings.
“I know there were a couple of situations where I got runners on bases, but I keep my faith,” Teheran said. “That was something big and I was happy that I got the win, obviously.”
Luke Jackson recorded four outs for his ninth save. With two outs and runners at the corners in the eighth, Miami’s Brian Anderson hit a slow roller to third base and was out in a close play — a replay confirmed the call.
Richards (3-6) gave up two hits in seven innings. He had won three straight decisions and suffered his first loss since starting the season 0-5.
“I think I’ve been able to attack the hitters a little bit better and locate better (since the poor start),” said Richards, who did not allow a hit until Freddie Freeman singled with two outs in the sixth inning.
Back on May 4 in his previous outing against Atlanta, Richards gave up just two hits in 4 2/3 shutout innings. He remains winless in three career starts against the Braves.
Miami manager Don Mattingly was impressed with his starter, who needed only 15 pitches over the first two innings against the potent Atlanta lineup.
“I thought he did a really nice job with that club,” Mattingly said. “It’s all about us getting that key out or that key hit and today we just weren’t able to do it.”
The Marlins teamed up for an unusual play to get the last out in the third. Ozzie Albies was on second when Ronald Acuna Jr. hit a grounder that bounced off Anderson’s glove at third base. But the ball caromed to Rojas, and he quickly tossed it back to Anderson to tag out Albies.
THE NEW GUY
Freddie Freeman is thrilled over newly signed LHP Dallas Keuchel. Freeman called the addition “a huge boost for our team … It’s pretty evident that our front office wants to win and so do we.”
The Milwaukee Brewers recently took some shots at the Marlins on Twitter after former Miami standout Christian Yelich homered against his former team on June 6.
“It seemed pretty petty,” Mattingly said. “You never know three years (down the road) what that trade looks like,” Mattingly said. “It wasn’t like we were getting tricked; we knew what we were doing.”
Albies shattered his bat in the seventh inning, and the barrel flying over the Braves’ dugout at high speed before being stopped by the protective netting.
Braves: RHP Darren O’Day (right forearm strain) has been transferred to the 60-day injured list in a move to open a spot on the 40-man roster for Dallas Keuchel. The veteran O’Day has been sidelined since suffering the injury while making his spring debut on March 1.
Marlins: RHP Julian Fernandez has been shut down from throwing after recently experiencing right elbow discomfort as he continues to recover from Tommy John surgery back in April of 2018. Fernandez had been participating in live batting practice prior to the latest setback.
Braves: LHP Max Fried (7-3, 3.68) did not face Miami last season and is making his first start against the Marlins in 2019. He is coming off a rough outing in Pittsburgh where he surrendered all five runs on nine hits in four innings.
Marlins: RHP Pablo Lopez (4-5, 4.52) last went up against Atlanta on May 5 in Miami and, in a 3-1 loss, posted six shutout innings while allowing only three hits. He is 2-1 overall with a 1.84 ERA at home.
By RONALD BLUM
NEW YORK (AP) — Free agent pitcher Dallas Keuchel and the Atlanta Braves have agreed to a one-year contract that would pay the 2015 AL Cy Young Award winner about $13 million, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity Thursday night because the agreement was subject to Keuchel passing a physical, which is scheduled for Friday.
Keuchel’s contract would include a salary of about $21.21 million, and he would get a prorated share that amounts to approximately $13 million because 114 days will remain in the 186-day season.
A 31-year-old left-hander, Keuchel was 12-11 with a 3.74 ERA in 34 starts last season for Houston and turned down a $17.9 million qualifying offer in November.
He has options remaining, allowing him to start his Braves tenure in the minors as he builds up arm strength and stamina.
A two-time All-Star, Keuchel had 216 strikeouts during his Cy Young season but fanned only 153 batters last year, when he had a $13.2 million, one-year deal.
He is 76-63 with a 3.66 ERA in seven major league seasons, all with the Astros.
Some teams were reluctant to sign him because of a drop in recent years in some of his advanced metrics, such as percentage of swings and misses.
Interest increased beginning Monday, when the amateur draft started and a club signing him no longer had to give up one or two draft picks and possibly international signing bonus pool allocation.
The New York Yankees offered a prorated share of the $17.9 million qualifying offer amount (about $11 million), a person familiar with their proposal said. That person spoke on condition of anonymity because New York’s offer was not made public.
After winning their first NL East title last year since 2013, the Braves are 33-29, two games behind first-place Philadelphia.
Atlanta’s all 28-and-under rotation thus far has been led by 21-year-old rookie right-hander Mike Soroka, who is 6-1 with a 1.41 ERA in nine starts, and 25-year-old lefty Max Fried, who is 7-3 with a 3.68 ERA.
Mike Foltynewicz, an All-Star and 13-game winner last year, is 1-5 with a 5.89 ERA and has allowed 15 home runs, one shy of NL leader Kyle Freeland of Colorado.
Julio Teheran is 3-4 with a 3.28 ERA. Kevin Gausman, who is 2-5 with a 6.15 ERA, could be sent to the bullpen when Keuchel joins the big league roster.
By WILL GRAVES
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Joe Musgrove knew something was off.
It wasn’t just the back-to-back losses he took in late May — it was the way he worked in those games. His typically smooth delivery got funky. The crispness that comes when he’s rolling vanished.
So the Pittsburgh Pirates right-hander pored over video. He dissected his bullpen sessions with backup catcher Jacob Stallings. And then Musgrove went out and shut down the Atlanta Braves, pitching into the ninth inning for the first time in his career in a 7-4 victory Wednesday night.
Musgrove (4-6) retired 14 straight during one stretch and struck out six against one walk to give Pittsburgh’s weary bullpen a break as the Pirates ended a three-game slide.
“Any athlete will tell you, you hit that point in the game where you get in the zone, there’s no real stopping you,” Musgrove said. “You’re not thinking about anything. You’re seeing the glove and throwing to it.”
Musgrove was knocked around by the Dodgers and Brewers in his previous two starts, giving up 11 runs in 11 innings against two of the better offenses in the majors. There were no such issues against the Braves. Working quickly following a rain delay of more than two hours, he threw 65 of 99 pitches for strikes before being lifted for closer Felipe Vázquez after giving up back-to-back home runs to Ronald Acuña Jr. and Dansby Swanson in the ninth.
Vázquez allowed an RBI double to Nick Markakis but avoided major damage as the Pirates won for just the fifth time in 16 games.
“The two homers, it doesn’t feel good to leave on that note, but I’m more happy with how I feel going into my next start,” Musgrove said. “I feel like this is something I can build on and something that can turn my season around.”
Elias Diaz hit his first home run of the season. Colin Moran added his seventh for the Pirates, who jumped on Atlanta starter Kevin Gausman (2-5) to give Musgrove plenty of wiggle room. Diaz sent a two-run shot to the left field bleachers in the second and Moran drilled one into the Atlanta bullpen just beyond the center field wall in the fifth.
Gregory Polanco went 3 for 4. Starling Marte added three hits and Josh Bell returned from his first day off this season to deliver an RBI double for Pittsburgh, which touched up Gausman for seven runs.
“I think it’s just me not making pitches when I need to,” Gausman said. “I feel like I am right where I need it to be, but the results really aren’t saying that I am.”
Atlanta rookie left fielder Austin Riley produced his 26th RBI in his 19th career game, a sharp single in the second, but otherwise the Braves did little against Musgrove until it was too late.
The start was held up for 2 hours, 4 minutes, due to rain, though the grounds crew didn’t even have the tarp on the field when the delay began and the precipitation was only moderate at best. Not that the Pirates were complaining. Better to wait out any showers than have Musgrove start, then see his night end early because of a potential rain delay.
When the skies cleared, the Pirates wasted little time getting to Gausman. A week removed from giving up eight runs in just one inning of a loss to Washington, Gausman again ran into trouble early.
Polanco singled with one out in the second and the deluge began. Diaz, making his 15th start in the last 20 games while catcher Francisco Cervelli deals with concussion-like symptoms, ripped a liner to the seats in left for his first home run since last September.
Musgrove, Kevin Newman, Bryan Reynolds and Marte followed with singles. Bell sliced a ball down the left field line to score Reynolds. The barrage would have continued if Marte hadn’t tried to score from first on the play, only to be thrown out by 20 feet.
“Just not doing a good job of keeping the big innings from happening and just really had to grind out there today and you give them a five spot in the second, definitely not what you’re trying to do,” Gausman said.
When Gausman slowly made his way to the dugout, the Braves trailed 5-1. He hung around for five innings to help save Atlanta’s bullpen a night after the relievers worked five innings in a 12-5 comeback win.
There would be no rally this time. When Moran’s home run in the fifth sailed over the fence, the Pirates led by six and Musgrove was cruising.
The Pirates are shuffling their injury-ravaged starting rotation ahead of a weekend series in Milwaukee. Rookie Davis will get his first start since 2017 on Friday. Davis, who has appeared in four games as a reliever since being called up from Triple-A Indianapolis last month, went 1-3 with an 8.59 ERA in six starts for the Reds in 2017. Davis replaces Nick Kingham, who posted an 11.05 ERA in six appearances since May 3.
Pirates: RHP Trevor Williams (right side strain) was scheduled to throw a bullpen. If there are no setbacks, he will pitch a simulated game Saturday. … RHP Jameson Taillon (right arm strain) and RHP Keone Kela (right shoulder inflammation) are both heading to Pirate City in Bradenton, Florida, to start rehabilitation. … SS Erik Gonzalez (fractured collarbone) has been cleared to start hitting.
Braves: Mike Foltynewicz (1-4, 6.10 ERA) gets the ball for Thursday’s series finale. The right-hander is 1-3 with a 6.88 ERA in four career starts against Pittsburgh.
Pirates: Chris Archer (2-5, 5.66 ERA) earned his first victory since April 7 when he beat the Brewers last Friday. Archer has won consecutive starts just twice since the beginning of the 2017 season.