September 2, 2018 / 2:47 AM / 3 months ago

Freeman's clutch hit rallies Braves over Pirates

EditorsNote: Tweaks lede, updates 4th graf after Nats result

Freddie Freeman’s double drove in the go-ahead run in a four-run, eighth-inning rally to help the Atlanta Braves beat the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates 5-3 on Saturday at SunTrust Park and snap a three-game losing streak.

The inning began when Dansby Swanson hit a solo homer to left, his 14th, on a ball that just cleared the left field fence. Pinch hitter Lucas Duda followed with a double, and pinch runner Lane Adams advanced to third base on a fly ball and scored on a strikeout-wild pitch, allowing Ender Inciarte to reach first.

Inciarte stole second base and scored the go-ahead run when Freeman lined an opposite-field double to left field. Freeman took third on a bloop single by Nick Markakis and scored on Johan Camargo’s sacrifice fly to right field.

Atlanta (75-60) extended its lead in the National League East to three games over Philadelphia and 7 1/2 over Washington.

It was a rare poor appearance by Pittsburgh’s Keone Kela (3-4), who had been scored upon only once in his first 14 games since joining the team. In one-third of an inning, Kela was tagged for four runs on three hits.

The winning pitcher was Jonny Venters (3-1), who retired the last two batters in the eighth inning. A.J. Minter earned his 12th save by pitching a perfect ninth inning.

Pittsburgh starter Chris Archer didn’t allow a hit until Swanson led off the sixth inning with a double. In six innings pitched, Archer allowed one run on two hits and one walk. Archer struck out five.

Atlanta starter Kevin Gausman allowed three runs (one earned) and five hits in six innings, striking out four. Gausman had a 19-inning scoreless streak end when he allowed a run in the fifth.

The Pirates scored two runs in the top of the fifth. Starling Marte’s 24th double drove in Colin Moran and Kevin Newman.

Pittsburgh added a run in the sixth on Gregory Polanco’s 22nd homer, a solo shot to center.

Atlanta scored in the bottom of the sixth when Ronald Acuna Jr. drove in Swanson with a single to right.

—Field Level Media

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