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Braves stage another late rally to beat D-Backs, push NL East lead to season-high 4.5 games

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The Braves fought tooth-and-nail to win Saturday night’s game against the Diamondbacks 5-4, scoring twice in the 10th inning. The Braves then held the D-Backs to one run in the bottom half of the 10th thanks to a heads-up, game-ending play by shortstop Dansby Swanson.

On Sunday, the Braves did it again. Trailing 4-2 in the top of the eighth, Freddie Freeman singled in a run to cut the deficit to one run. Facing closer Brad Boxberger in the ninth, the Braves put their first two runners on base with singles from Tyler Flowers and Ozzie Albies. Ender Inciarte then belted a go-ahead three-run home run to right-center field.

The Braves weren’t even done after that. Lucas Duda hit a one-out solo homer off of Yoan López. Ronald Acuña then tripled and promptly scored on a two-run home run by Johan Camargo, pushing the score to 9-4.

In the bottom of the ninth, the D-Backs managed to scrape across a run but wound up losing 9-5. As the Phillies lost to the Mets on Sunday, the Braves pushed their NL East lead to a season-high 4.5 games. The Braves were also up 4.5 games after beating the Rays on August 28.

Rangers don’t plan to make qualifying offer to Adrián Beltré

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Rangers GM Jon Daniels said he doesn’t expect the club to make a $17.9 million qualifying offer to free agent third baseman Adrián Beltré, MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan reports. Daniels has been in touch with the 39-year-old, who may retire.

Beltré battled hip and hamstring issues throughout the past season, limiting him to 119 games. He hit .273/.328/.434 with 15 home runs and 65 RBI in 481 plate appearances. Going by adjusted OPS, his mark of 98 — 100 is average — was his lowest in a season since 2009 with the Mariners. Beltré’s career average is 116 and he put up a 132 in 2017 and 128 in ’16.

Beltré appears to have some stuff left in the tank. He may not be an All-Star-caliber player anymore, but he can still hit at an average level and he is still an above-average defender. It’s just a matter of his body holding up to allow him to do what he needs to do. If Beltré does decide to re-up with the Rangers for 2019, the club will be prepared to move Isiah Kiner-Falefa or Jurickson Profar over to the hot corner as they did in 2018 in the event Beltré gets bitten by the injury bug.