By CHARLES ODUM, AP Sports Writer
ATLANTA (AP) — With closer Arodys Vizcaino on the disabled list, the Braves found strong relief elsewhere.
Four relievers combined to allow one hit in four scoreless innings, giving Atlanta’s bullpen an important lift as the Braves beat Baltimore 7-3 on Sunday for their first win over the Orioles in six years.
Freddie Freeman’s two-run single in the first inning gave Atlanta the lead and Dansby Swanson added a pinch-hit, two-run homer in the eighth .
Left-hander A.J. Minter pitched a perfect ninth following scoreless innings from Shane Carle, Jesse Biddle and Dan Winkler in relief of Brandon McCarthy. Vizcaino was placed on the DL before the game with right shoulder inflammation.
“My job was to kind of help out Vizzy today, give him some rest,” Minter said.
The bullpen’s strong showing was especially important after Braves relievers allowed nine runs and 10 hits on Friday night with Vizcaino unavailable.
“Those guys in the bullpen stepped up big,” said Braves manager Brian Snitker. “… They couldn’t have done any better.”
Baltimore won the first two games of the series and swept the last set between the teams in 2015. Atlanta ended a stretch of seven straight losses to the Orioles since 2012.
McCarthy (6-3) overcame home runs by pinch-hitter Mark Trumbo and Trey Mancini to allow three runs in five innings.
Mancini, back in the lineup after missing three starts with a stiff neck, led off the third with his 10th homer . Despite Sunday’s loss, Mancini said winning the series from the Braves was the last-place Orioles’ best showing since winning three of four at the Yankees in early April.
“This series down here felt like us again, I’d say for the first time really since the New York series early in the year in the Bronx,” Mancini said.
Trumbo hit a two-run homer beyond the reach of center fielder Ender Inciarte in the fifth. Trumbo has five homers in his last seven games.
Charlie Culberson doubled in two runs and Nick Markakis also had a run-scoring double in the third as Atlanta took a 5-1 lead. Swanson’s homer off Brad Brach landed inside the left-field foul pole.
The Braves took a 2-0 lead before David Hess (2-4) recorded an out. Hess walked Enter Inciarte, who moved to third on Ozzie Albies’ double. Both scored on Freeman’s single to left field.
Hess gave up five runs on seven hits and two walks in four innings — his third straight start allowing five runs.
Albies had three hits, giving him nine for the series.
Orioles: Trumbo did not start due to a sore right knee, a recurrence of a problem that surfaced in May. Trumbo is expected to be back in the lineup on Monday.
Braves: Vizcaino hadn’t appeared in a game since June 17 against the Mets. … Tyler Flowers remained in the game after being hit on his helmet with a pitch from Mike Wright Jr. in the fifth.
McCarthy was well-rested for a day game. Those were prime conditions for success for the 34-year-old right-hander.
McCarthy began the day 2-0 with a 2.82 ERA in four day games this season, compared to a 5.79 ERA in 10 night starts. He was making his first start since June 15, and he was 2-0 with a 2.76 ERA in his previous three starts with at least six days rest.
OF Ronald Acuna Jr. (left knee sprain) likely will spend at least one more day on his rehab assignment with Triple-A Gwinnett. Snitker said the Braves are “still kind of evaluating” Acuna to “make sure he’s healed. He feels he is.” Acuna has been on the DL four weeks, since May 28.
The Braves selected the contract of right-hander Evan Phillips from Triple-A Gwinnett, where he was 4-4 with a 2.31 ERA in 26 games, all in relief. INF Phil Gosselin was designated for assignment to create a spot for Phillips on the 40-man roster.
Orioles: RHP Andrew Cashner (2-7, 4.72) will try to end a streak of three straight losing decisions when Baltimore returns home to face Seattle on Monday night.
Braves: RHP Mike Foltynewicz (right triceps tightness) is expected to come off the DL to start Monday night’s opening game of a three-game series against the Reds.