By STEVEN WINE, AP Sports Writer
MIAMI (AP) — The Braves have been rough on the Marlins this year, in large part because of Freddie Freeman.
Atlanta’s All-Star first baseman started the scoring with his 17th homer and also doubled to help beat Miami 12-1 on Monday night.
Freeman is batting .469 with five homers in eight games against Miami this year. The Braves improved to 6-2 versus the Marlins and have outscored them 56-29.
“The Marlins are still tough, and baseball is a game where any day you can lose,” Freeman said. “You’ve got to play your best, and I feel like we’ve done that against the Marlins.”
Atlanta climbed one percentage point ahead of Philadelphia atop the NL East, with Miami 13½ games back.
The Braves totaled 16 hits, and the biggest was Freeman’s two-run homer in the first inning to the opposite field against the shift.
“I was trying to hit the shortstop and it went up in the air,” he said.
Freeman hiked his batting average to .316.
“Anytime Freddie is doing what he’s capable of doing, he can pick up everybody else,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “They relax and don’t feel pressure to make something happen.”
Six Braves had two or more hits. Charlie Culberson had a career-high four , including a pair of doubles, and drove in three runs. Dansby Swanson hit his eighth homer.
Sean Newcomb (9-5) overcame a wobbly start to allow one run in six innings and earn his first win since June 16. He improved to 3-0 in three outings against Miami this season with an ERA of 1.00.
“Anytime you’re playing a team in your division, it’s a bigger game,” Newcomb said.
Three relievers completed a five-hitter.
Jose Urena (2-10) permitted five runs in four innings. He fell to 0-8 at home.
“The frustrating part is not able to go deeper in the game and help the team,” Urena said.
Justin Bour hit his 16th homer in the second for Miami.
Swanson hit a solo homer in the second. A two-out intentional walk to Nick Markakis backfired on Miami in the third when he came around to score on Johan Camargo’s two-run single, making it 5-1.
Center fielder Ender Inciarte contributed two singles and a two-run double, and robbed Martin Prado of an extra-base hit.
Only 11 of Newcomb’s first 31 pitches were strikes, but he worked around four early walks. The left-hander gave up three consecutive singles to load the bases with one out in the fourth, but then struck out Yadiel Rivera and pinch-hitter Derek Dietrich on six pitches.
“We put a lot of people on base, but we couldn’t get the big hit,” shortstop Miguel Rojas said. “That was the difference between having a close game and having a blowout.”
Braves: All-Star 2B Ozzie Albies (right hamstring tightness) is expected to return to the lineup Thursday. … Atlanta closer Arodys Vizcaino and RHP Mike Soroka (both right shoulder inflammation) are at least a couple of weeks from being cleared to begin throwing programs, Snitker said. Vizcaino is expected to pitch again this season, but it’s uncertain whether Soroka will return.
Marlins: 1B-OF Garrett Cooper, who has played in only 14 games, will go back on the disabled list after re-injuring his right wrist. The latest injury was diagnosed as a sprain following an MRI. OF Magneuris Sierra will be called up from Triple-A New Orleans. … Rojas left the game with back spasms.
Braves RHP Julio Teheran (7-6, 4.00 ERA) is scheduled to start Tuesday afternoon’s series finale against LHP Wei-Yin Chen (2-7, 5.75). Chen has a 1.83 ERA in seven home starts, compared with 10.47 in eight road starts, the largest disparity in the majors.
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