Freeman hits for second cycle of his career as Braves sweep Marlins
Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 19, 2021
MIAMI (AP) — Freddie Freeman hit for the cycle for the second time and the surging Atlanta Braves beat the Miami Marlins 11-9 Wednesday night.
The reigning NL MVP doubled in the first, tripled in the fourth, singled in the fifth and hit his 27th homer, a two-run blast, in the sixth.
Freeman became the first Braves player to hit for the cycle twice after also accomplishing the feat against Cincinnati June 15, 2016, according to Atlanta. It is the seventh cycle in franchise history. He went 9 for 13 in the three-game series sweep against Miami.
Winning pitcher Charlie Morton kept the Marlins hitless until Isan Díaz’s one-out single to center in the fifth and worked six innings of two-run ball. Morton (12-4) allowed three hits, struck out nine, walked one and hit a batter.
The NL East-leading Braves have won six straight and 13 of 15 while sweeping its last three road series.
Austin Riley had three hits and two RBIs, and Adam Duvall drove in three runs, including two on bases-loaded walks, for the Braves.
Miami walked 12 batters, tying a franchise record for a nine-inning game. Five of the walks were with the bases loaded.
Freeman’s triple began a four-run fourth against Miami starter Jesús Luzardo. Riley hit an RBI single and Dansby Swanson followed with a single. Luzardo then walked three consecutive batters, including Duvall and Guillermo Heredia with the bases loaded, to force in two runs. Ozzie Abies’ sacrifice fly off Miami reliever Steven Okert made it 4-0.
Duvall’s RBI double in the fifth increased Atlanta’s lead.
Freeman’s blast against Marlins reliever Luis Madero in the sixth landed over the wall in center. As Freeman rounded the bases and reached the dugout, Braves fans in the stands repeatedly chanted his name.
In his fifth plate appearance in the eighth, Freeman was intentionally walked with a runner at third. Riley followed with his second run-scoring single. Miami catcher Sandy León pitched the ninth and retired Freeman on a fly to left field.
The Braves built an 11-3 lead before the Marlins rallied with six runs in the bottom of the ninth, keyed by Jesús Aguilar’s two-run single and Jesús Sánchez’s two-run homer. Miami had the tying runs on base and two outs but Will Smith struck out struck out Alex Jackson to end it.
The Marlins ended a drought of 20 scoreless innings against Braves pitching in the bottom of the fifth. Pinch hitter Jorge Alfaro had an RBI fielder’s choice with the bases loaded and Miguel Rojas hit a run-scoring single.
Atlanta had shut down Miami since Diaz’s second inning solo home run in the first game of the series Monday.
Luzardo (4-6) was lifted after three-plus innings. The left-hander allowed four hits and four runs, struck out four and walked five.
Braves: RHP Ian Anderson (right shoulder inflammation) threw 70 pitches in his third rehab start at Triple-A Gwinnett on Tuesday and manager Brian Snitker called it his best one so far.
Braves: LHP Max Fried (10-7, 3.78) will start the opener of a three-game series at Baltimore Friday.
Marlins: No starter has been announced for the opener of a four-game series at Cincinnati on Thursday.
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