By CHARLES ODUM, AP Sports Writer
ATLANTA (AP) — Freddie Freeman’s tie-breaking home run moved the Atlanta Braves closer to first place — just in time for a little boost from the front office a day before the trade deadline.
Freeman hit a go-ahead homer in the third inning, Ronald Acuna Jr. also went deep and the Braves beat the Miami Marlins 5-3 on Monday night to move a half-game behind first-place Philadelphia in the NL East.
Following the game, the Braves announced they had acquired outfielder Adam Duvall from the Cincinnati Reds for three players who had been with Triple-A Gwinnett: right-handers Lucas Sims and Matt Wisler and outfielder Preston Tucker.
“It’s nice to be adding players instead of subtracting like we’ve done the last few years,” Freeman said.
Before adding Duvall, the Braves acquired veteran relievers Brad Brach and Jonny Venters.
With Brach making his Atlanta debut with a scoreless eighth, four relievers combined for four scoreless innings.
“That was really big because they were under some duress,” said Braves manager Brian Snitker. “… Anytime you add that depth to your bullpen, it’s going to help.”
Brian Anderson’s two-run homer off Julio Teheran (8-7) in the first gave Miami a lead Wei-Yin Chen (3-8) couldn’t hold.
The Braves pulled even in the second when Tyler Flowers walked, moved to third on Johan Camargo’s double and scored on Ender Inciarte’s fly ball. Camargo scored on Teheran’s two-out single up the middle.
Freeman’s homer, his 18th, in the third gave Atlanta the lead . Flowers walked and scored from first on another double to left by Camargo.
After J.T. Realmuto’s run-scoring double in the fifth cut Atlanta’s lead to 4-3, Acuna led off the bottom of the inning with his 10th homer , just over the reach of Magneuris Sierra in center field.
A.J. Minter pitched the ninth for his sixth save in six chances.
Chen’s road struggles continued as he allowed five runs in five innings.
Chen has a 10.27 ERA in nine road starts. It’s a dramatic contrast to his 2.18 mark in eight home starts. According to figures from Elias Sports Bureau, the 8.09 gap between Chen’s home and road ERA was the highest for any pitcher in the majors with five or more home and road starts.
“He just doesn’t seem the same on the road,” said Marlins manager Don Mattingly. “Again, not sure why.”
Teheran needed 98 pitches to pitch five innings. He allowed three runs on four hits and four walks.
Brach, acquired from Baltimore on Sunday in exchange for international bonus pool allotment, made his Atlanta debut by giving up one hit in a scoreless eighth.
Braves: LHP Sam Freeman was placed on the 10-day disabled list, retroactive to Sunday, with left shoulder inflammation. The move cleared a spot on the active roster for Brach.
Anderson said it was another case of the Marlins losing a competitive game.
“We’ve done a really good job of battling in these games and fighting and keeping them close,” he said. “… We’re getting to their starters, getting them out of the game and getting deep in the bullpen. We’ve just got to finish them off.”
ALLARD COMING UP
The Braves will call up left-hander Kolby Allard to start Tuesday night’s game against Miami. It will be the major league debut for Allard, 20, a first-round pick in 2015 who was 6-4 with a 2.80 ERA for Triple-A Gwinnett this season.
Snitker said the move will give his other starters an additional day of rest, though Snitker wouldn’t commit to a strict six-man rotation. Left-hander Sean Newcomb threw a career-high 134 pitches while coming within one out of a no-hitter in Sunday’s 4-1 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Snitker said Newcomb likely will need “an extra day or two” before his next start.
Newcomb apologized in a team meeting before the game for racist, homophobic and sexist tweets he sent as a teenager. The tweets resurfaced after Sunday’s game.
Marlins: RHP Dan Straily (4-4, 4.07 ERA) will look for his third win over Atlanta this season in Tuesday’s night’s game. He is 4-2 with a 4.35 ERA in eight career starts against Atlanta, including 2-0 with a 1.50 ERA this season.
Braves: Allard has a 2.96 ERA in 64 career minor league starts. He spent the full 2017 season with Double-A Mississippi, where he had a 3.18 ERA.
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