Freddie Freeman homered twice while Julio Teheran turned in another solid start to help the Atlanta Braves to 5-3 win over the Chicago White Sox.
After scoring double digit runs in the first two games of the series, the Braves figured to have their work cut out for them against White Sox right-hander Lucas Giolito. However, Atlanta didn’t waste much time as Freeman staked them to an early 2-0 lead with a two-run home run in the first inning.
Chicago would tie the game in the second in what has become an all too familiar fashion for Braves fans this season. Teheran retired the first two hitters of the inning before issuing back-to-back walks to Yolmer Sanchez and Adam Engel. Giolito then fell behind in the count 1-2 before lining a single to the right center gap that scored both runs to tie the game at 2-2. That was Giolito’s second career hit and remarkably the 13th that Teheran has allowed to opposing pitchers this season which leads the majors by a considerable margin.
Giolito would then settle in sitting down 12 straight Braves batters. Atlanta would finally break through again in the sixth as Johan Camargo led off the inning with a pinch-hit double. Giolito came back and struck out Acuña and got Ozzie Albies to line out to center for the second out. However, he would elect to go right after Freeman with a base open and Freeman would make him pay. Freddie battled through a nine pitch at-bat before getting a fastball he could handle and driving it out to center to put the Braves back in front 4-2.
It was a pretty typical start for Teheran who allowed a number of baserunners but did a good job of minimizing the damage. He allowed three hits, two runs and four walks while striking out five over six innings. Teheran has now allowed three runs or less in 11 of his last 12 starts.
The White Sox would crawl closer in the seventh against Luke Jackson. Adam Engel led off the inning with a single to center and moved up to second on a walk by Tim Anderson. He then came around to score on a single by Jose Abreu that cut the Braves’ lead to 4-3. Jackson then ran the count to 3-2 on Yoan Moncada but Brian McCann was able to throw out Anderson who was trying to steal third to escape the inning.
Atlanta would add an insurance run in the eighth as Freeman would strike again. Adeiny Hechavarria led off the inning with a pinch hit single but was forced at second on a ground out by Acuña. Acuña then swiped second before a walk to Albies put runners at first and second for Freeman. The White Sox would turn to left-hander Aaron Bummer who wasn’t able to slow down Freeman who drove a ground ball through the right side to score Acuña and increase the lead to 5-3
Shane Greene worked a perfect eighth while Mark Melancon slammed the door in the ninth to seal the victory.
Freeman goes 3-for-4 in the game with a pair of homers while driving in all five of Atlanta’s runs. He now has a career-best 38 home runs on the season and a major league leading 114 RBIs. Freeman has hit 13 home runs since August 1 which is tied for second most in the National League over that span. Acuña went 0-for-3 in the game with a walk but stole two bases to give him an NL best 33 for the season.
The Braves sweep the series and have now won four straight games overall. They improve to 84-54 on the season and maintain their 5.5 game lead over the Washington Nationals in the NL East Standings. Atlanta will be back in action on Monday when they continue their homestand with a brief two-game series against the Toronto Blue Jays.