Braves Blast 5 Homers in Win Over Pirates

Musgrove, Hurdle ejected

Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Joe Musgrove (59) is held back by his teammates during a brief scuffle with the Atlanta Braves in the first inning of a baseball game Monday, June 10, 2019, in Atlanta. Musgrove was ejected from the game. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

ATLANTA — The Atlanta Braves stayed hot by hitting five home runs on a night a first-inning, stare-down contest created the biggest stir.

Ronald Acuna Jr. hit a grand slam, Ozzie Albies added two homers and the Braves beat Pittsburgh 13-7 on Monday night after Pirates starter Joe Musgrove was ejected in a first-inning fracas.

The Braves hit five homers, including two-run shots by Nick Markakis and Freddie Freeman. Markakis had four hits and drove in four runs.

Starling Marte hit two homers and drove in four runs for Pittsburgh.

Atlanta has won four straight, while the Pirates are on a four-game skid.

Musgrove hit Josh Donaldson with a first-inning pitch. As Donaldson began walking to first base, he exchanged glares with Musgrove, took a few steps toward the mound and then shoved catcher Elias Diaz, who intervened. The umpires huddled and announced ejections for Musgrove and Donaldson.

Pirates manager Clint Hurdle also was ejected by home plate umpire Brian Gorman after arguing the decision to toss Musgrove.

Musgrove’s pitch only grazed Donaldson’s jersey, but players from both dugouts and bullpens charged onto the field following the confrontation as Musgrove took off his cap and removed his glove. No punches were thrown and the field was quickly cleared.

Donaldson said he wasn’t “really all that upset at all about getting hit by the pitch. It barely clipped me.” He said he responded to an aggressive reaction by Musgrove.

“I feel like he came down the mound afterward,” Donaldson said. “I looked away to try to give him a chance to look away from me. He kept coming down the mound and looking at me and obviously he had a problem with something.”

Musgrove said he “did nothing more than stand my ground.”

Musgrove said Donaldson “stared at me and tried to intimidate me and I’m not going to let that happen. I looked back at him and he had something to say and he crossed the line and came at me so I took my hat and glove off and got ready to fight and that got me tossed. I don’t know what else I could do in that situation. … I’m not going to run away and hide.”

Hurdle placed the blame on Donaldson.

“The hard part is if the batter goes to first none of this happens,” Hurdle said.

Braves right-hander Kevin Gausman struggled despite being given a 5-1 lead in the second inning. Gausman was pulled in the third when he gave up a three-run homer to Marte.

“The last couple of outings haven’t been very good and it didn’t look like it was going anywhere good today,” said Braves manager Brian Snitker.

Marte hit another homer off Jerry Blevins in the eighth for his first multi-homer game since Aug. 18, 2014, also against Atlanta.

Left-hander Sean Newcomb (1-0) relieved Gausman and allowed only one hit with six strikeouts in 4 2/3 innings. Jacob Webb earned his second save. He entered the game with a 10-7 lead and recorded the final four outs.

Right-hander Alex McRae (0-2), who replaced Musgrove, allowed eight runs, six earned. He gave up three homers in 4 1/3 innings.

Gausman allowed four runs, two earned, on five hits in 2 1/3 innings. His ERA climbed to 6.21.


Pirates: RHP Jordan Lyles was placed on the 10-day injured list with tightness in his left hamstring. Lyles lasted only three innings in Saturday’s loss at Milwaukee. Hurdle said Lyles’ hamstring issue caused “collateral damage” to the bullpen. … RHP Montana DuRapau was recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis and gave up three runs in the eighth.

Braves: There is no timetable on the return of OF Ender Inciarte (back). Inciarte was placed on the 10-day IL on May 15 and continues to have discomfort. … LHP Dallas Keuchel, the 2015 AL Cy Young Award winner who signed a one-year deal with Atlanta last week, allowed only one hit and had nine strikeouts in seven scoreless innings for Class A Rome. He may make his Atlanta debut after one more minor league start.


Markakis earned an ovation in the sixth inning after his run-scoring single gave him 1,000 career RBIs. Markakis, who rarely shows emotion, tipped his helmet to the fans and briefly smiled. The Braves had a clubhouse toast for Markakis following the game.

“Like I said, it just means I’m getting old,” the 35-year-old Markakis said, before adding, “It was a good night.”


Pirates rookie Bryan Reynolds went 0-for-5, ending his 17-game hitting streak and 24-game streak of reaching base safely.


The 436-foot shot to left field was Acuna’s first career regular-season slam . He hit a slam in last season’s NL division series loss to the Dodgers.


Pirates: RHP Chris Archer (3-5, 5.20 ERA) will make his second straight start against the Braves after allowing one run in six innings in a 6-1 home win on Thursday.

Braves: RHP Mike Foltynewicz (1-5, 5.89) is 1-4 with a 6.26 ERA in five career starts against the Pirates. He allowed three runs in six innings in Thursday’s loss at Pittsburgh.


PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The Arizona Diamondbacks hit three straight home runs to open the game and finished with a team-record eight in a win over the Philadelphia Phillies in a homer-happy game.

Scott Kingery hit two of Philadelphia’s five home runs for the combined MLB record of 13 homers in one game.

Jarrod Dyson, Ketel Marte and David Peralta hit consecutive homers off Jerad Eickhoff in the first inning. Eduardo Escobar became the first Diamondback to homer from different sides of the plate in consecutive innings. Ildemaro Vargas also homered twice and Alex Avila went deep.

Eickhoff (3-4) was chased in the fourth inning and the Diamondbacks up 7-3. He allowed five hits in three-plus inning — all the hits homers, and Arizona won its fifth straight game.

Arizona was the first team to hit three straight home runs to begin the first inning since the Diamondbacks did it on July 21, 2017, at home against Washington ace Max Scherzer.

The Diamondbacks had hit six homers in a game six times in franchise history, the last coming June 1, 2018, against the Marlins.

Jean Segura homered and Rhys Hoskins and Jay Bruce each hit solo shots for the Phillies.

Zack Godley (3-4) picked up the win, working three-plus innings and allowing two hits, two walks with one strikeout.


BOSTON (AP) — Danny Santana doubled to lead off the 11th inning for his fourth hit of the game and scored on Elvis Andrus’ single, giving Texas a victory on a night the city of Boston’s concerns were focused on ex-slugger David Ortiz.

Near the end of the game, Ortiz landed in his adopted city in an air ambulance from the Dominican Republic, where he was shot in a nightclub on Sunday night. Fans observed a moment of reflection before the game and chanted his nickname — “Papi!” — during it.

But the Red Sox weren’t able to manage a walk-off hit like those that were the hallmark of Ortiz’s career.

It was the Rangers who rallied from a 2-1 deficit in the ninth inning to take a 3-2 lead. Boston rallied to tie it in the bottom half, but Texas went ahead again in the 11th.

Jesse Chavez (2-1) pitched the 10th, and Chris Martin pitched the 11th for his second save.

Ryan Brasier (2-3) took the loss.


MIAMI (AP) — Michael Wacha pitched six scoreless innings in his return to the rotation and St. Louis broke a three-game losing streak.

Wacha (4-2) benefited from three double plays and a pickoff in his first start since May 22. He allowed five hits, struck out four and lowered his ERA to 5.63.

Jordan Hicks worked around a leadoff single in the ninth and struck out two for his 13th save.

Sandy Alcantara (3-6), facing his former team for the first time, struggled through five-plus innings and allowed four runs, but only one was earned.

The Cardinals scored the first run in the fourth on doubles by Marcell Ozuna and Yairo Mu’oz. St. Louis added three unearned runs in the sixth inning and totaled just four hits.


ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Charlie Morton remained unbeaten with Tampa Bay, pitching seven shutout innings in a win over Oakland.

Brandon Lowe homered for the third time in two days, snapping a scoreless tie in the sixth inning and helping the Rays take over sole possession of the first place in the AL East with their sixth victory in seven games. The New York Yankees, who were rained out at home, dropped a half-game behind in the standings.

Morton (8-0) extended his career-best winning streak to 11 games dating to Aug. 17, when he was with the Houston Astros. He allowed two hits to Marcus Semien and retired the last 14 batters he faced.

Stephen Piscotty ruined Tampa Bay’s bid for a shutout, driving in Mark Canah with an RBI double and then scoring on Robbie Grossman’s run-scoring single in the ninth.

Lowe hit a two-run shot off Tanner Anderson (0-1), who allowed two runs and three hits over 5 2/3 innings in his first big league start. Kevin Kiermaier and Ji-Man Choi also hit two-run homers in the win.


CHICAGO (AP) — Trea Turner homered in the second straight game, AnÌbal S’nchez pitched into the seventh and Washington beat Chicago.

The game had a scary moment when a woman was struck by a foul ball off the bat of White Sox outfielder Eloy Jimenez. He hit a hard liner into the stands in the fourth inning just beyond Chicago’s dugout on the third base side. The woman, sitting several rows from the field, was bleeding around the head area, and was covered with a towel. The team said she was taken to a hospital for evaluation. She was alert and communicative.

Jimenez put his hands on his helmet after seeing the ball go into the stands. Protective netting at Guaranteed Rate Field extends to the end of the dugouts.

S’nchez (2-6) gave up one run and four hits.

Adam Eaton had three hits, including an RBI single, and Kurt Suzuki added a grand slam during a six-run ninth and had five RBIs to help the Nationals win for the 12th time in 16 games.

Leury GarcÌa hit a solo homer for Chicago. Odrisamer Despaigne (0-1) went six innings and allowed three runs and seven hits.


DENVER (AP) — Ryan McMahon had a go-ahead RBI single in the eighth inning, and the Colorado Rockies rallied to beat the Chicago Cubs.

Ian Desmond hit a 486-foot homer, and Nolan Arenado and Charlie Blackmon also went deep for the Rockies, who trailed 4-0 early but still won their ninth straight at home.

Anthony Rizzo, Kyle Schwarber and David Bote homered for the Cubs.

The game was tied 5-all when Daniel Murphy doubled and stole third with one out in the eighth. McMahon drove him in, and Wade Davis got the final three outs for his eighth save.

Steve Cishek (1-3) gave up two hits in the ninth.

The teams used the long ball to put up four runs each in the third inning. Bote and Schwarber went back-to-back on consecutive pitches to score the first two, and Rizzo hit a two-run homer to center to give Chicago a 4-0 lead. Rizzo finished with three hits.

Blackmon and Arenado each had a two-run homer off Yu Darvish in the bottom of the inning to tie it. Desmond gave the Rockies a 5-4 lead with his mammoth pinch-hit homer in the seventh, but the Cubs tied it in the eighth on Javier Baez’s groundout off Scott Oberg (4-0).

Darvish and Rockies starter German Marquez each allowed four runs in six innings.


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