Wednesday, July 23, 2014
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Gwinnett Daily Post
Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman is congratulated after hitting a three-run home run against the Miami Marlins during the second inning at Turner Field on Wednesday. (Kevin Liles-USA TODAY Sports)
Ervin Santana struck out 10 over 7 1/3 innings and Freddie Freeman belted a three-run homer as host Atlanta snapped a two-game losing streak.
Freeman, who started the day 2-for-44 in 11 games against Miami this season, homered during a four-run second as the Braves pulled within one game of first-place Washington in the National League East. Santana (9-6) won for the fourth time in his past five starts, allowing one run on six hits, and B.J. Upton and Jason Heyward added two hits each.
Christian Yelich extended his road hitting streak to 17 games with a 2-for-3 performance for the Marlins, and Adeiny Hechavarria and Garrett Jones added two hits. Nathan Eovaldi (5-6) gave up five runs on six hits - all in the first two innings - as Miami’s three-game winning streak ended.
Upton led off the bottom of the first with a double for the second consecutive night, scoring later in the frame on Justin Upton’s sacrifice fly. The Braves scored four times in the second with Tommy La Stella’s RBI single making it 2-0 before Freeman laced a 2-2 pitch over the fence in left-center with two outs to put Atlanta ahead 5-0.
Yelich, who is 6-for-11 in the series, singled to right in the third to plate Jarrod Saltalamacchia, but Santana got Donovan Solano to ground into a double play to end the inning. The Atlanta right-hander then fanned two hitters in each of the next three innings, but Eovaldi was even better after the rough start, firing five hitless innings.
Notes: Freeman hit his first homer since June 27 and his first at home since May 19. … Miami manager Mike Redmond was ejected in the bottom of the eighth for arguing that Heyward was tagged out diving back to third base; Heyward scored on Gerald Laird’s single later in the inning. … Santana recorded double-digit strikeouts for the 13th time in his career and fell one short of his career high of 11.