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Braves bullpen gives away game in 14-10 loss to Cubs

The Braves bullpen decided they did not want to win today.

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

The Braves were looking to bring in their ninth win of the season against some usually stout competition as Sean Newcomb took the mound for Atlanta against Chicago starter Jose Quintana.

Atlanta second baseman Ozzie Albies wasted no time in getting the early lead as he took the 7th pitch of the game deep to left for his fifth homer of 2018 already. Quintana’s command was shaky at best in the first inning as the Braves got two more men on but could not bring home any more runs thanks to some solid defense from the Cubs.

Chicago was quick to respond with a 1 out lightning bolt off the bat of Albert Almora that had the game all square in the bottom of the 1st.

The Braves got right back to work against Quintana in the top of the 2nd. After a quick first two outs Atlanta put together quite the rally as Ozzie Albies doubled home Peter Bourjos and was then chased home by Dansby Swanson who had a double of his own. After a Freddie Freeman walk Kurt Suzuki capped off the scoring with a bloop single scoring both Swanson and Freeman to put the Braves up 4-1.

After a shutdown bottom of the 2nd from Sean Newcomb the Braves continued to beat up on the Chicago starter as Lane Adams and Charlie Culberson both reached base to start the inning. Clearly Quintana did not have his best stuff today as he walked opposing pitcher Sean Newcomb and was immediately removed in favor of Eddie Butler. That loaded the bases for Ozzie Albies who was able to hit a dribbler to second to bring home another run. Dansby Swanson then followed with a single to plate Culberson as the line continued to move. Freddie Freeman got in on the action with a ground-hugging single to bring home Newcomb and the Braves were not done there. After a walk issued to Kurt Suzuki it was Nick Markakis’ turn to drive in some runs with a lined double to left center that brought home Swanson and Freeman but not Suzuki as he was thrown out at the plate attempting to score.

With the Braves up 9-1, and after a long top of the third inning, Newcomb struggled to find his release point in the bottom half of the third inning. A leadoff walk came around to score after a wild pitch, flyout and groundball by the Cubs, but then Braves young starter was able to get things back under control to limit the damage and keep the Braves up 9-2.

The Braves got that run back right away in the top of the fourth as Cubs shortstop Addison Russell allowed both Lane Adams and Peter Bourjos to reach base by way of error in front of Ozzie Albies who was able to single home Adams and get the Braves to double digits up 10-2.

Neither team had much going on in the fifth inning as Sean Newcomb continued to pitch well. He was forced out of the game in the bottom of the sixth after some bad luck led to the Cubs loading the bases with no outs. Newcomb was able to get Jason Heyward on strikes but then issued a bases loaded walk and was removed for Dan Winkler who finished off the Cubs securing Newcomb to be in line for the win. Sean pitched phenomenally with the conditions involved to the tune of 7 strikeouts over 5.1 innings allowing just 2 earned runs.

After no runs in the top of the seventh Dan Winkler went back out to try and get the Braves through another inning. The Cubs were able to get to Winkler after a leadoff walk to Kris Bryant as Ben Zobrist tripled Bryant home and was then brought in himself by a Javy Baez groundout to narrow the Braves lead down to 10-5.

The Cubs got back to work in the bottom of the eighth against Luke Jackson who plunked Jason Heyward to begin the inning and was followed with a Tommy La Stella single to put two men on base. Jackson was then taken down in favor of Jose Ramirez who was terrible from the start as he hit Kris Bryant to load the bases. Willson Contreras then followed with a swinging bunt to score Heyward and Ramirez then walked in a run. The fun wasn’t over there as Javier Baez cleared the bases with a double to center. Sam Freeman was then brought in to try and salvage a tie game but proceeded to allow 4 straight walks that allowed two more runs to score. The Braves finally capped off the massive collapse on a wild pitch that allowed two more to score bringing the final tally to 14-10 as the Braves just looked horrendous in all aspects during the eighth inning.

The Cubs brought in closer Brandon Morrow to finish off a crazy win for Chicago. After a leadoff walk to Ozzie Albies the Braves went down in order to end an embarrassing loss for the Braves.

Atlanta will look for redemption tomorrow against the Cubs if weather permits.

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