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Braves vs Cubs final score: Atlanta pitchers struggle in 14-12 loss

If you love offense then this was your kind of game.

MLB: Atlanta Braves at Chicago Cubs Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

After taking part in a pitcher’s duel on Friday, the Braves and the Cubs put on a slugfest Saturday with Atlanta coming up on the losing side of a 14-12 decision.

The offensive onslaught began for Chicago in the second as a single and two walks loaded the bases before Rene Rivera connected on a grand slam to left field off of Sims to make it 4-0.

The Braves answered back quickly against Cubs starter Jon Lester in the third as Ozzie Albies hit a one out single and then came home on a two-run home run by Freddie Freeman to cut the deficit in half at 4-2. Matt Kemp followed with his 16th home run of the season to make the score 4-3.

Javier Baez tagged Sims for a solo home run in the bottom half of the inning but Rio Ruiz answered with a solo shot of his own in the fourth to keep it a one run game at 5-4.

However, the wheels came off for the Braves in the bottom half of the frame. A lead off walk to Lester got things started. Jon Jay followed with a single to put runners at first and second with no one out.

Sims was replaced by Ian Krol who was seeing his first action since being activated from the disabled list on Friday. Krol walked Kyle Schwarber to load the bases before striking out Kris Bryant for the first out of the inning. However, Anthony Rizzo leveled off on a high fastball and drove it into the right center gap for a bases clearing triple to put Chicago up 8-4.

Krol retired Ben Zobrist before Baez struck again with a double that scored Rizzo to make it 9-4. Baez scored on a Jason Heyward single before Rivera finally grounded out to end the inning.

After a scoreless fifth for both teams, the Cubs tacked on another in the sixth. Luke Jackson began the inning by hitting Bryant who then advanced to second on a wild pitch, moved up to third on a ground out and then scored on another wild pitch to make it 11-4.

The Braves weren’t finished yet offensively scoring three times in the seventh with the big blow coming on a double by Nick Markakis that plated both Albies and Freeman. Kurt Suzuki followed with a run scoring single to cut the deficit to 11-7. Dansby Swanson then doubled to put runners at second and third but forgot how many outs there were as he was doubled off on a line drive to second by Ruiz to end the threat.

Chicago made that base running blunder hurt in the bottom half tacking on a couple of more runs on a single by Albert Almora Jr. to push the lead back to 13-7.

Atlanta went back to work in the eighth as Freeman plated both Lane Adams and Jace Peterson on a double to left field to cut the deficit again to 13-9. The Cubs got a solo home run from Heyward off of Jim Johnson in the eighth put push the lead back to five.

The Braves made it interesting in the ninth against Brian Duensing. Kurt Suzuki led off the inning with a single and moved up to second on a passed ball. Swanson followed with an infield single to second. Swanson was initially called out but Atlanta challenged and the call was overturned. Matt Adams came on to pinch hit and grounded into a fielder’s choice that scored Suzuki to make it 14-10.

Joe Maddon then turned to Wade Davis who retired Adams on a ground out for the second out of the inning before allowing a double to Peterson that scored Adams to make it 14-11. Albies followed with a single to score Peterson but Freeman struck out to end the game.

The pitching lines in this one were ugly for the Braves. Sims was tagged for six hits and seven runs over just three innings. He walked four and struck out four while giving up a pair of home runs.

Krol was tagged for three hits and three runs over two innings. Jackson was charged for three runs in just one inning of work.

The Braves will try to avoid a sweep on Sunday as Max Fried will make his first major league start.

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