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Swanson, Gausman carry Braves over Pirates

MLB roundup

Atlanta Braves starter Kevin Gausman pitches against the Pittsburgh Pirates in the first inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2018, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Kevin Gausman has enjoyed transitioning to his new team. Dansby Swanson helped make it all the more pleasant Tuesday night.

Gausman breezed through eight innings, Swanson had two homers and four RBIs and the Atlanta Braves beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 6-1.

In his fourth start for Atlanta, Gausman (8-9) gave up four hits with five strikeouts and two walks, helping the NL East-leading Braves take the first two legs of the three-game series. He has allowed six runs in 27 innings since being acquired from the Baltimore Orioles on July 31.

“This is a fun team to play for, especially right now,” Gausman said. “We’re playing well and it’s a fun place to come to work every day. A little different than where I’ve been this season. It was frustrating being over there, being a part of the season (the Orioles are) having over there was tough.”

Swanson’s first homer gave the Braves a 2-0 lead in the fifth before he sent another two-run shot into nearly the same spot in the left field bleachers, extending the lead to 5-0 in the seventh. Kurt Suzuki doubled down the left-field line, scoring Ozzie Albies from first for the third run. Tyler Flowers scored on a wild pitch in the ninth to make it 6-0.

“You’re not really looking at the results,” Swanson said. “You’re really looking at the progress and the process. … It’s definitely a good thing moving forward, but tomorrow’s a new day.”

Ivan Nova (7-8) allowed Swanson’s first home run after retiring his initial 10 batters, including the first nine on 29 pitches. Ender Inciarte singled to center for Atlanta’s first hit with one out in the fourth.

Nova got through six innings on 78 pitches (51 strikes), but was removed when Josh Harrison pinch-hit with one out and the Pirates trailing 2-0 in the sixth. He allowed two runs and four hits with four strikeouts.

The Pirates had allowed one run in each of their previous five games, but were 2-3 during that stretch.

“I knew (getting pulled) was going to happen,” Nova said. “We need to score. It’s been tough the last week. A lot of good pitching.”

Harrison singled and the Pirates eventually loaded the bases with two outs, but Gausman got out of the jam when Josh Bell grounded out to short.

“(Gausman) is pitching exactly how we had hoped when we got him,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “He was really, really good tonight. That was huge.”

Gregory Polanco led off the ninth with a home run off Chad Sobotka for Pittsburgh’s lone run.

“Can we adjust the lineup, look at some different things? We’ve talked about it,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. “It’s been hard. These guys are battling. Guys are doing some different things to try to change up some things. … We’re not getting the results we want.”

ROSTER MOVES

Braves: OF Michael Reed was recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett. RHP Bryse Wilson was optioned to Gwinnett following his major league debut Monday.

Pirates: RHP Clay Holmes was recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis. OF Jordan Luplow was optioned to Indianapolis.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Braves: Suzuki was pulled after being hit by a pitch in the ninth inning. Flowers ran for Suzuki shortly after he made his way to first base. Snitker did not provide an update following the game.

•••

YANKEES 2, MARLINS 1, 12 inn.

MIAMI (AP) — Giancarlo Stanton had two hits in his homecoming but closer Aroldis Chapman left the game accompanied by a trainer as the New York Yankees beat the Miami Marlins 2-1 in 12 innings Tuesday.

After Yankees backup catcher Kyle Higashioka raced home on a sacrifice fly in the 12th, Chapman came on trying for his 32nd save, but he departed with none out when his troublesome knee flared up.

Stanton, playing in Miami for the first time since he was traded after eight seasons with the Marlins, singled in the first and missed a homer by a few feet when he doubled off the left field wall in the fifth. He also struck out three times and grounded out to remain at 299 career homers.

The Marlins had runners at the corners with none out in the ninth, and loaded the bases with none out in the 11th, but both times failed to score. Chad Green and A.J. Cole (3-0) pitched out of the jams.

The Yankees (79-46) won their fourth game in a row to climb 33 games above .500 for the first time since 2011.

Chapman walked Isaac Galloway leading off the 12th, threw a wild 96 mph fastball to the next batter and signaled to the dugout. After consulting with the trainer he left the game, and Tommy Kahnle came on to earn his first save since 2016. Chapman is likely to get an MRI.

Higashioka threw out Galloway trying to steal second to end the game.

INDIANS 6, RED SOX 3

BOSTON (AP) — Center fielder Greg Allen made two superb catches to help fellow rookie Shane Bieber hold down Boston, and the Cleveland Indians beat the Red Sox 6-3 Tuesday night in a matchup of AL division leaders.

Melky Cabrera homered for the second straight game and Yan Gomes also connected for Cleveland. The Indians have won nine of 10, including the first two of the four-game series at Fenway Park.

Boston, with the best record in the majors, has lost three in a row for just the second time this season.

Bieber (7-2) took a shutout in the seventh. He went 6 1-3 innings, allowing three runs on five hits. He struck out five and didn’t walk a batter.

Down 5-0, Boston scored three times in the seventh. Brad Hand got his 25th save as the Indians improved to 15-4 in August.

•••

CUBS ACQUIRE 2B MURPHY IN TRADE WITH NATIONALS

DETROIT (AP) — The Chicago Cubs know all too well what Daniel Murphy can do at the plate.

So they are very much looking forward to playing alongside him for a change.

The Cubs bolstered their struggling lineup by acquiring Murphy in a trade with the Washington Nationals on Tuesday.

The 33-year-old Murphy has a .413 career batting average at Wrigley Field, according to STATS. He was the NL Championship Series MVP when the Mets swept the Cubs in 2015, hitting .529 with four homers and six RBIs.

“It’s going to be more fun to watch him hit,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said before Tuesday’s 2-1 loss at Detroit. “He kind of devastated us in 2015.”

The Cubs also announced that Yu Darvish will miss the rest of the season because of a stress reaction in his right elbow.

Darvish left his rehab start for Class A South Bend on Sunday after just one inning.

“Hopefully it turns out well to get him back next year from Day 1,” Maddon said. “It’s been a very difficult year, obviously, for him to have to endure the physical and maybe some of the emotional, mental pain.”

Darvish, who turned 32 on Thursday, signed a $126 million, six-year contract with Chicago in February. But he made just eight starts in his first year with the Cubs, going 1-3 with a 4.95 ERA.

The deal for Murphy comes at an opportune time for NL Central-leading Chicago, which has scored one run in five straight games on five home runs.

Third baseman Kris Bryant is on the disabled list with an inflamed left shoulder, and shortstop Addison Russell was scratched from Tuesday’s loss because of right shoulder inflammation.

“Having Daniel in the field with the rest of the guys will be a big help,” Maddon said.

The Cubs got Murphy for Class A infielder Andruw Monasterio and a player to be named or cash, grabbing the attention of the team as it prepared for the matchup with Detroit.

“This is obviously something that makes us better so they’re all jacked up,” Maddon said. “I walked in the food room, grabbing some salad, and (Ben) Zobrist is looking at the TV and he said, ‘We got Daniel Murphy!’ He was smiling.

“I thought he was messing with me. He didn’t know until he saw it. That was legitimate expression of joy, knowing we got Daniel Murphy. I thought that was kind of cool.”

Murphy missed the start of the year after undergoing right knee surgery on Oct. 20. He is eligible for free agency after this season.

The three-time All-Star is hitting .300 with six homers and 29 RBIs in 56 games.

“It’s really bittersweet,” he said in Washington before joining his new team. “I sat at this podium probably two and a half years ago. The Washington Nationals were the only offer I had. They took a chance on me three years ago and I feel very disappointed in myself that it kind of came to this point.”

Murphy spent the first seven seasons of his 10-year career with the Mets. He is a .299 career hitter with 116 homers, 327 doubles and 628 RBIs.

“One of the best teammates I’ve ever played with,” Nationals star Bryce Harper said.

Murphy has been particularly good since the All-Star break, batting .340 in his last 28 games. He was surprised to be claimed, figuring he would end up staying in Washington.

Maddon, and his players, were thrilled the front office was able to add him to the roster.

“He’s kind of like exactly what we need right now,” Maddon said. “That kind of an at-bat near the top of the order.”

___

For more AP baseball coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

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AP freelance writer Harvey Valentine in Washington contributed to this report.

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