Braves Rout Tribe Behind Donaldson

CLEVELAND — Josh Donaldson had two homers and four RBIs, Freddie Freeman added three hits and the Atlanta Braves pounded Cleveland’s pitching for the second straight night, beating the Indians 11-5 Sunday.

Donaldson belted a solo homer in the first and followed with a three-run shot in the second to continue the Braves’ dominance that began in the second game of Saturday’s doubleheader.

Atlanta outscored Cleveland 19-5 over the final 14 innings of the three-game series. The Indians won the first game and led 7-0 after two innings in Game Two, but the Braves rallied for an 8-7 win.

Max Fried (3-0) allowed two runs in 6 1/3 innings. The left-hander walked the bases loaded in the first but retired Jason Kipnis on a flyball to end the inning.

Indians starter Shane Bieber (2-1) was charged with seven runs (five earned) in 2 1/3 innings.

Cleveland All-Star shortstop Francisco Lindor, playing his second game since returning from an ankle injury, hit a one-out homer in the seventh — the 99th of his career. He committed an error on Brian McCann’s grounder in the first.

The lopsided loss came on Indians manager Terry Francona’s 60th birthday. Cleveland used seven pitchers, including catcher Kevin Plawecki, who retired the side in order in the ninth on two grounders and a flyball.

Donaldson singled in the fourth, walked in the seventh and scored four times. He had the 17th multihomer game of his career.

The Indians acquired Donaldson from Toronto late last season in hopes he could regain his power stroke for the playoffs. The 2015 AL MVP hit three home runs in September, but managed one single in 11 at-bats in the Division Series when Cleveland was swept by Houston.

Donaldson signed a $23 million, one-year contract with the Braves. He has four homers and seven RBIs in 21 games. The slugging third baseman continued his success at Progressive Field, where he has 11 home runs and 27 RBIs in 32 career games.

Donaldson, the game’s second hitter, homered to center on a 1-1 pitch. His second-inning blast landed in the left field bleachers and gave Atlanta a 5-0 lead

Freeman has reached base in all 21 games this season.

UP NEXT

Braves: RHP Kevin Gausman (1-1, 2.75 ERA) will pitch the opener of three-game series opener Tuesday in Cincinnati.

Indians: RHP Carlos Carrasco (2-2, 7.41 ERA) will start against Miami as Cleveland wraps up its homestand with a two-game series beginning Tuesday.

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