Freeman hits another grand slam, Braves beat Nationals 10-3

ATLANTA (AP) — Freddie Freeman hit his second career grand slam — and second of the series — leading the Atlanta Braves to a 10-3 win over Patrick Corbin and the Washington Nationals on Sunday.

Josh Tomlin (2-2) allowed one run in six innings as Atlanta split the four-game series. Marcell Ozuna drove in four runs with three hits, including a homer and a bases-loaded triple. Tyler Flowers had a two-run double.

With Atlanta leading 3-1 in the sixth, Kyle Finnegan replaced Corbin and loaded the bases by walking Dansby Swanson. Freeman followed with his seventh homer of the season, a drive into the seats in left-center.

Freeman said he had a text from Braves Hall of Famer Chipper Jones about his two slams in three days. Freeman had never hit a slam in the majors until this weekend.

“He said they come in bunches,” Freeman said. “I hope it’s not bunches yet and there’s more to come.”

Freeman hit his first career grand slam in the second game of Friday’s doubleheader to open the series.

Corbin (2-4) has lost four straight decisions. The left-hander allowed five runs, matching his season high, and nine hits in 5 1/3 innings. He struck out six and walked four.

“They had a good game plan today,” said Corbin of the patience of Braves’ hitters. “I thought I made some good pitches and gave up some hits on that as well. I thought my stuff was better today.”

Corbin faced eight batters in the fourth, leaving him at 80 pitches before giving up Ozuna’s high homer to the second deck in left field to open the fifth.

Flowers hit his two-run double past a diving Adam Eaton in right field in the fourth. Flowers ran to third before the umpires huddled and ruled the hit, which bounced into a cardboard cutout of a fan near the right-field line, a ground-rule double.

GM EJECTED

MYSTERY EJECTION

Major League Baseball issued a statement saying it will investigate an incident which caused a delay in the seventh when home plate umpire Hunter Wendelstedt turned toward the stands and ejected Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo from a luxury suite.

Someone on the field said “Call security” and crew chief Joe West walked to the Braves dugout to use a telephone.

West said the crew had told the commissioner’s office Friday that Rizzo was hollering at the umps.

Freeman said he heard someone yelling before Wendelstedt reacted.

“I think I heard someone yelling a couple days ago, too,” Freeman said, adding “There’s no fans in the stands so we’ve got to keep the yelling to ourselves.”

The delay came soon after a pitch from Atlanta’s Chris Martin to Eric Thames. The umpire stepped away from the plate, turned to face the stands and yelled “You’re out” while cocking his thumb.

Nationals manager Dave Martinez said “somebody screamed” but said he didn’t hear it.

“I talked to Hunter briefly,” Martinez said. “He said we want to see what we can do about getting a certain guy out.”

MLB said in its statement it already began its inquiry.

“We have already been in communication with the Nationals regarding what transpired during today’s game, and we will speak with the umpiring crew today,” the statement said. “We will expect Joe West’s crew to provide a full account of their perspective, and we will follow up with them accordingly.”

PAINFUL COMEBACKER

Corbin had a painful start to the game when Ronald Acuña Jr. led off with a line drive that hit the back of Corbin’s left thigh. The exit velocity of the liner was 114 mph. Corbin remained in the game after he was checked by a trainer.

“Right above the knee,” Corbin said. “It got all muscle, so it’s a little sore. It will probably be sore tomorrow.”

More fortunate was a yellow butterfly that was fluttering near the path of Corbin’s pitch in the third inning. Replays showed the breaking ball just missing the flying insect.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Nationals: Eaton (jammed knee) returned to the lineup after missing the first three games of the series. OF Juan Soto (sore left elbow) was held out for the fourth straight game. 2B Josh Harrison (bruised left forearm) entered the game as a defensive replacement for Luis Garcia in the sixth.

Braves: LHP Cole Hamels (triceps tendinitis) threw his first live batting practice after the game. Hamels threw to catcher Travis d’Arnaud, including pitches with Ozzie Albies at the plate, hitting right-handed. Hamels was held back in spring training with a sore shoulder before developing the tendinitis.

ROSTER MOVE

The Braves recalled right-hander Bryse Wilson, who gave up two runs in the ninth, including a run-scoring triple to Trea Turner. Right-hander Chad Sobotka was optioned back to the team’s alternate training site.

UP NEXT

Nationals: RHP Max Scherzer (3-2, 3.95 ERA) will start when Washington opens a home series against Tampa Bay on Monday night. Scherzer was 1-1 with a 1.80 ERA against the Rays in 2018.

Braves: Rookie RHP Ian Anderson (2—0, 2.25 ERA) will try for his third straight win when Atlanta opens a three-game series against Miami on Monday. Anderson has allowed a combined three runs in his first two starts.

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