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Braves lay into Chris Sale; top White Sox in 11-8 slugfest

How many teams can say they hit into a triple play and still win?

David Banks/Getty Images

No one expected this; not from one of the worst offenses in the Majors, and certainly not against Chris Sale.

Atlanta's offense hammered seven extra-base hits against Sale; something he had never done in his career, and the Braves top the White Sox with an 11-8 win in Chicago.

Surprisingly, the Braves jumped out in front first in the first when Freddie Freeman hit an opposite-field home run. Melky Cabrera would tie the score against Matt Wisler in the bottom of the first with a run-scoring single.

In the second, Tyler Flowers took deep his old battery mate with a two-run homer to center, but then when the White Sox came to bat, the Atlanta defense suffered the brain fart of all brain farts.

After Carlos Sanchez hit a double to left leading off the inning, the throw back came in to second, but no one covered second and Sanchez made it to third. The next batter, J.B. Shuck, blooped a double into no-man's-land in right field to score Sanchez. Shuck was at third when Adam Eaton came to bat; Eaton, falling away from the pitch, bunted the ball toward third; the ball was drifting foul, but Matt Wisler tried to shovel the ball behind him and Shuck scored easily. Then with one out (emphasis on ONE), Jose Abreu hit a fly ball to center, but Ender Inciarte forgot the number of outs and allowed Tim Anderson to score from third uncontested and take a 4-3 lead.

If you've never seen a triple play, you saw one in the top of the third. With Chase d'Arnaud at second and Gordon Beckham at third, Freddie Freeman hit a line drive to shortstop Tim Anderson, who fielded the bounce; d'Arnaud didn't see that and stayed at second; Anderson tagged him, stepped on second to force Beckham and threw to first to retire Freeman. Just your typical, run-of-the-mill 6-3 triple play.

Wisler settled down and retired seven straight while Nick Markakis hit yet another home run to tie the score. Chris Sale had given up just two homers to lefties all year, but had just given up two to lefties in this game.

Then in the fifth, Atlanta's offense laid into Sale. The Braves tallied four runs on four hits, scoring on three consecutive doubles by Jeff Francoeur, Adonis Garcia, and Tyler Flowers.

Wisler would allow solo homers to Adam Eaton and Todd Frazier in the fifth before departing; he struck out six, including Brett Lawrie three times.

Chris Sale was chased after the fifth as well, allowing eight runs on 10 hits.

The Braves continued their offensive onslaught, finally breaking the 10-run barrier with three in the sixth against the White Sox bullpen. Chase d'Arnaud drove home a run with a double and later scored on Jeff Francoeur's sacrifice fly. Adonis Garcia's infield hit scored Atlanta's 11th, and final, run of the game.

Todd Frazier's sacrifice fly in the seventh closed the gap to four, and he was up with two on in the ninth against Mauricio Cabrera. Fortunately for the Braves, he killed the rally by hitting into a double play. A run would score, but the Sox would get no closer as Cabrera closed out the win.

Among Atlanta's 15 total hits, nine went for extra bases (six doubles, three homers); Adonis Garcia had four of those hits. Everyone except Erick Aybar had at least one hit, the poor soul; he struck out four times. Jeff Francoeur and Tyler Flowers each drove in three runs.

Win Expectancy

Source: FanGraphs

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