Ozuna, Acuña Jr. power Braves to 6-3 win over Marlins

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MIAMI – Marcell Ozuna homered for third time in two games, Ronald Acuña Jr. stole his league-leading 15th base, and the Atlanta Braves beat the Miami Marlins 6-3 on Thursday to complete a three-game sweep.

Acuña went down in the sixth after fouling a ball off his left knee. He remained on the ground and grabbed at his leg for several minutes, but finished the at-bat and returned to right field in the bottom of the frame. He was eventually removed out of precaution.

Braves manager Brian Snitker said after the game that Acuña is “fine” but was having trouble bending his knee, so the team wanted to get him treatment right away.

Matt Olson also homered for the Braves, winners of five of their last six. They have hit 19 home runs in seven games against Miami this season, including six in a 14-6 win Wednesday night. Atlanta has gone deep in all but one game against the Marlins this year: a 5-4 loss on April 27 in which Miami came from behind with a five-run ninth.

“This was a tough series coming in here because they were playing really well,” Snitker said. “It’s a good team. Any time you can have an over .500 road trip, it’s a good thing.”

Acuña extended his on-base streak to 23 games when he reached on a fielding error by first baseman Yuli Gurriel in the first. He scored on an RBI single by Sean Murphy later in the inning to make it 1-0.

Dylan Dodd (2-1) allowed eight hits, three runs, walked three and struck out one in six innings. A.J. Minter struck out two in the ninth for his seventh save of the season.

“I felt like I battled through a lot of baserunners,” said Dodd, who was called up from Triple-A Gwinnett. “At the end of the day, was pretty happy with the result.”

Jorge Soler, who finished a triple shy of the cycle, gave Miami a 2-1 lead in the first with his sixth home run of the season. It also scored Jon Berti, who had a leadoff single and stole his fifth base.

But the Braves retook the lead in the second on an RBI single by Acuña, who stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error by Nick Fortes.

Ozuna drilled a 1-0 pitch from Jesús Luzardo (2-2) to left-center in the fourth to make it 4-2. It was Ozuna’s fifth homer of the season and came one day after he hit a grand slam and a solo home run.

Soler made it 4-3 with an RBI double in the fifth. He singled in the seventh off Michael Tonkin, who combined with Nick Anderson for two scoreless relief innings.

The Braves forced three Miami errors on Thursday.

“You have to play pretty clean baseball to beat that team,” Marlins manager Skip Schumaker said. “We didn’t play as well as we should have today and kind of shot ourselves in the foot a little bit.”

Luzardo allowed six hits, four runs – three earned – walked three, including an intentional pass to Acuña, and struck out three in 5 2/3 innings.


The Marlins are 3-11 against the Mets and Braves this season and 13-5 vs. the rest of the league. After a three-game series at Atlanta in late June, the Marlins will not face either team until a September homestand in which they’ll face Atlanta and New York in back-to-back series.


Braves: Snitker said CF Michael Harris II is sore after landing awkwardly on his right leg during Wednesday’s game, but isn’t expected to go on the injured list. Harris was given the day off Thursday, but was available.


The Marlins selected the contract of RHP Chi Chi Gonzalez from Triple-A Jacksonville and designated LHP Devin Smeltzer for assignment.


Braves: LHP Max Fried (2-0) will start Friday against Baltimore after getting an extra day of rest.

Marlins: RHP Edward Cabrera (2-2) will start Friday in the first of a three-game road series against Chicago.

McCutchen’s sacrifice fly lifts Pirates to 5-4 win, extends Athletics’ road losing streak to 15

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PITTSBURGH – Andrew McCutchen’s tiebreaking sacrifice fly in the eighth inning lifted Pittsburgh to a 5-4 victory over Oakland on Monday night, extending the Pirates’ win streak to six games and sending the Athletics to their record-tying 15th consecutive road loss.

The 15 straight defeats away from home matches the Athletics’ record since they moved from Kansas City in 1968. Oakland set that mark in 1986.

The major league-worst Athletics (12-50) have lost five games in a row overall. They are on pace to finish the season exactly 100 games under .500 at 31-131.

“It’s tough,” Athletics manager Mark Kotsay said. “Tonight’s game, we didn’t play well enough to win the game. I don’t want to say we gave the game away but there were a lot of instances where we had a chance to capitalize on opportunities and didn’t do it.”

McCutchen also singled and drew three walks to go with two RBIs. The 2013 NL MVP now has 1,998 career hits.

With the score tied at 4, Ji Hwan Bae led off the decisive eighth inning with a single off Sam Moll (0-3) and advanced to third on Austin Hedges’ one-out single. McCutchen’s sac fly plated Bae.

“I was just trying to get the job done. I understand the situation there,” McCutchen said. “We just need to get the run. I was trying to bear down against a hard thrower and trying to get that run in as much as I can, and I was able to do it and have a good at-bat.”

Angel Perdomo (1-0) retired both hitters he faced. and Colin Holdeman pitched a scoreless ninth inning for his first career save. It was an eventful inning for Holderman as the first three batters reached base, but he struck out Carlos Perez with runners on the corners to end it.

“I began my career as a starting pitcher in the minor leagues but ever since I was switched to relief, this has been the goal, to get a save in the big leagues,” Holderman said.

Pittsburgh starter Johan Oviedo gave up three runs and four hits with five strikeouts and two walks.

Oakland left-hander JP Sears did not allow a hit until Mark Mathias’ leadoff single in the fifth but was unable to make it through the inning. Sears was charged with one run in 4 2/3 innings while allowing two hits, walking five and striking out six.

Sears has not allowed more than two runs in five consecutive starts. His nine no-decisions are the most in the major leagues.

Ryan Noda and Brent Rooker had two hits each for the Athletics.

The Athletics tied the score at 4-4 in the eighth inning on pinch-hitter Aledmys Diaz’s run-scoring double. Oakland left the bases loaded, though, when Nick Allen hit an inning-ending flyout.

Consecutive bases-loaded walks keyed a three-run sixth inning that put the Pirates 4-3. McCutchen and Bryan Reynolds each worked bases on balls off Shintaro Fujinami to tie the score at 3-all and pinch-hitter Jack Suwinski followed with a sacrifice fly.

The Athletics opened the scoring in the first inning when rookie Esteury Ruiz reached on catcher’s interference, stole his MLB-leading 30th base of the season and scored on Noda’s single. Seth Brown doubled in a run in the third and came home on Perez’s sacrifice fly to push Oakland’s lead to 3-0.

Connor Joe hit an RBI double for the Pirates in the fifth.

The Pirates drew 10 walks, their most in a game in nearly two years.

“We had a bunch of opportunities that we didn’t capitalize (on), but the thing I think I was most proud of is we got down and we didn’t rush to get back,” Pittsburgh manager Derek Shelton said. “We were still patient.”


Athletics: LHP Kirby Snead (strained shoulder) is expected to pitch in the Arizona Complex League on Tuesday, which will be his first game action since spring training. … RHP Freddy Tarnok (strained shoulder) will throw a bullpen on Tuesday.


Pirates catching prospect Henry Davis was promoted to Triple-A Indianapolis from Double-A Altoona. In 41 games at Double-A this season, the 23-year-old hit .284 with 10 home runs and seven stolen bases.

“He was performing offensively at a level where we felt like he was more than ready to meet the challenges,” Pirates general manager Ben Cherington said. “He improved as an offensive player even since spring training, focusing on the things we were challenging him on. Defensively, he’s made strides too.”

Davis was the first overall selection in the 2021 amateur draft from the University of Louisville.


Athletics RHP James Kaprielian (0-6, 8.12 ERA) will make his first start in June after taking the loss in all four starts in May and face RHP Mitch Keller (7-1, 3.25). Keller has eight or more strikeouts in seven consecutive starts, the longest streak by a Pirates pitcher in the modern era (since 1901).