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Braves set franchise record for runs, hammer Marlins 29-9

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Manager Brian Snitker was just hoping to shake up the Atlanta Braves’ lineup following a shutout loss.

As it turned out, the new mix made National League history.

Adam Duvall drove in nine runs with three homers, including a grand slam, and the Braves obliterated their franchise scoring record and set the NL record in a 29-9 romp over the Miami Marlins on Wednesday night.

The Braves broke loose for 11 runs in the second and nearly matched the modern scoring mark since 1900, set by the Texas Rangers in a 30-3 rout of the Baltimore Orioles in 2007.

“Pretty amazing,” said Freddie Freeman, who drove in six runs with three hits, including a two-run homer. “Hard to put into words, really, when you look up and see 29 runs on the board.”

The Braves had 23 hits, including seven homers, to score the most runs in their history in Boston, Milwaukee and Atlanta. They topped the old record by six runs. Duvall’s enormous night came exactly a week after he hit three home runs in a game at Boston.

“I’ve never seen an offense click like that, all together,” Freeman said.

A day after being shut out by the Marlins on four hits, the Braves erupted. Freeman said he woke up to a text from Snitker saying he’d be hitting second. Travis d'Arnaud had a three-run homer in the second as the new cleanup hitter.

Freeman now expects to be hitting second again.

“I would assume so,” Freeman said. “I think it would be very hard for him to change the lineup after scoring 29 runs.”

The big second inning knocked Pablo Lopez out of the game. Duvall hit another homer, his 12th, in a six-run fifth and added the slam in the seventh off Josh Smith.

“I’ve known that homers come in bunches but something like that is pretty special,” Duvall said. “I’m going to enjoy this one tonight.”

Three runs scored on a sixth-inning double by Ronald Acuna Jr. that gave Atlanta a 25-8 lead and the franchise record for runs in a game.

On Sept. 2, 1957, Hank Aaron and the Milwaukee Braves, the eventual World Series champions, hammered the Chicago Cubs 23-10 at Wrigley Field. That franchise record for runs in a game stood for 63 years. The old Atlanta record was 20 runs, most recently against the Marlins on Oct. 5, 2001.

Ozzie Albies, playing in his first game since Aug. 4 in his return from a wrist injury, had three hits, including a homer. Acuna also hit a three-run homer and drove in five runs.

Five RBI?

“He was third on the team,” Freeman said with a laugh.

Freeman’s homer in the third was his 1,500th career hit. Dansby Swanson, who had three hits, Austin Riley and Duvall each scored five runs.

Atlanta’s offensive outburst came one day after being shut out 8-0 by Miami for the Braves’ second straight loss in the series.

Lopez (3-4) allowed seven runs in only 1 2/3 innings. He had four walks.

“He just seemed to be out of sync early in that game with the walks and wasn’t getting anything really over,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said.

Despite the loss, the Marlins took two of three for their first series win in Atlanta since Sept. 12-14, 2016.

Despite the overwhelming run support, Atlanta left-hander Tommy Milone didn’t get the win. He allowed eight hits and eight runs in 3 1/3 innings.

Lewis Brinson hit a three-run homer for Miami. Jazz Chisholm, who was hitting .063 through six games, had a run-scoring triple and his first career homer.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Marlins: INF Jon Berti (cut finger) was held out for the second straight day. Mattingly said he wanted to give Berti another day even though Berti was available if needed in an emergency on Tuesday night.

Braves: Albies took swings against LHP Cole Hamels (triceps tendinitis) on Sunday and was impressed. “He looked really good,” Albies said. “He even told me when the cutter was coming and I still missed it.” Hamels will pitch in a simulated game on Friday and could make his 2020 debut next week. … IF Johan Camargo was optioned to the alternate training site.

MORE ON DUVALL

Duvall became the first player in franchise with more than one three-homer game – and he accomplished the feat twice in eight days. He also hit three homers on Sept. 2 at Boston.

Duvall’s nine RBI tied pitcher Tony Cloninger’s franchise record, set on July 3, 1966.

OPTING IN

Marlins second baseman Isan Diaz was optioned to the team’s alternate training site in Jupiter, Florida. Diaz was the team’s opening day starter before he opted out after playing in two games due to coronavirus concerns. He changed his mind about playing and successfully petitioned to return.

TOUGH HOMESTAND

The Marlins’ playoff hopes will be on the line when they play 15 games in 11 days in a grueling homestand that opens with seven consecutive games against Philadelphia. The homestand, which begins on Thursday night, includes four doubleheaders.

The Marlins are only 2-9 at home this season. They are 17-9 on the road. Mattingly can’t explain the home struggles.

“I wish I knew that,” Mattingly said. “I don’t know what it is. We just have to get past the home thing. … Anything I talk about with it, I’m just guessing.”

UP NEXT

Marlins: RHP Sandy Alcantara (2-1, 3.78) will start when Miami opens a homestand with the first of seven consecutive games against Philadelphia on Thursday night. The stretch includes a doubleheader on Friday.

Braves: LHP Robbie Erlin, who has a 6.84 ERA in eight games, including four starts, could start as Atlanta opens a four-game series at Washington on Thursday night. Erlin threw three innings in relief against Miami on Monday and may not be able to pitch deep into the game.

Angels’ Andrelton Simmons opts out of final 5 games

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ANAHEIM, Calif. — Shortstop Andrelton Simmons has opted out of the remainder of the Los Angeles Angels’ season.

The Angels announced the four-time Gold Glove-winning shortstop’s decision Tuesday before they faced the San Diego Padres.

Los Angeles (24-31) is still technically in the playoff race with five games left in the regular season, and Simmons clearly caught the Angels by surprise, although the club said it respected his decision.

The 31-year-old Simmons, who can be a free agent this winter, is finishing his fifth year with the Angels. After spraining his ankle in late July and missing 22 games, Simmons is currently batting .297 with 10 RBIs while playing his usual stellar defense, albeit with four errors in 30 games.

“At this time, I feel this is the best decision for me and my family,” Simmons said in a statement. “We don’t know what the future holds, but we would like to sincerely thank the Angels organization and Angels fans for welcoming and making us feel at home.”

Manager Joe Maddon acknowledged he was caught by surprise when general manager Billy Eppler told him about Simmons’ decision Monday night after Simmons went 1 for 4 with an RBI single in the Angels’ home finale. Maddon texted Simmons, but hadn’t heard back by Tuesday afternoon.

“I’ve really enjoyed this guy a lot,” Maddon said. “I’m a big fan. This guy is a good baseball player, and I’ve enjoyed the conversations, too. It’s just unfortunate. He’s really a big part of what we’re doing right now.”

Simmons is a favorite of Angels fans for his defensive wizardry, and owner Arte Moreno has described Simmons as perhaps his favorite player to watch on the roster. Simmons has batted .281 with 36 homers and 281 RBIs during his five seasons with Los Angeles, and he won the Gold Glove in 2017 and 2018.

“He’s a thinking kind of a player, and I’ve enjoyed him a lot,” Maddon said.

Simmons will be a free agent this winter, and the Angels have an obvious replacement for him in David Fletcher, who has a .374 on-base percentage while regularly hitting leadoff for the Angels during his breakout major league season. Fletcher has been playing second base since Simmons’ return from injury.

But the Angels haven’t publicly closed the door on Simmons’ return, and he could be given a qualifying offer. Maddon has repeatedly said he would like Simmons to return in 2021 if possible.

The Angels haven’t had a winning season during Simmons’ five years in Anaheim, although Simmons said last week he wasn’t discouraged by the lack of team success. Simmons played his first four major league seasons in Atlanta, and he hasn’t appeared in the postseason since 2013.

Simmons also said he hadn’t been involved in any recent contract talks with the Angels, but he had enjoyed playing for the club. When asked if he wanted to return to the Halos, Simmons said he would have to “plead the fifth.”