The Braves were coming off two shutout losses to Arizona the previous afternoon — managing just a single hit over 14 innings. Madison Bumgarner held Atlanta without a hit in his seven-inning victory, though it did not qualify as an official no-hitter.
Looking for any edge in a superstitious sport, Dansby Swanson burned sage throughout the bowels of Truist Park before the game, hoping the herb would spark the team.
It sure seemed to work.
The Braves finished with 10 hits. Heck, Swanson even hit an opposite-field homer.
“Every bit of area I could find in this place, I went into,” Swanson said. “I might have to bring some tomorrow, too.”
The Braves pounded Zach Davies for four runs and five hits in the very first inning. Travis d’Arnaud’s two-run single was the biggest blow.
“It was nice to get four runs in the first inning, calm everyone down,” Freeman said.
The Cubs tied it on Bryant’s sixth career grand slam, a shot off Charlie Morton (2-1) that landed in the Chicago bullpen with two outs in the third.
He was lifted after just 3 2/3 innings against the Braves, having allowed six hits, five runs and four walks. His ERA climbed to 9.47.
“It comes down to pitch execution,” Davies said. “It’s just not there. It’s probably one of the worst stretches of my career.”
With SS Javier Báez sitting out the game with a sore hamstring, Hoerner started at shortstop and batted leadoff.
Manager David Ross said he wanted to reward a player who’s been swinging the bat well. Hoerner kept it going with two more hits and is batting .429.
“Nico is having some good at-bats, so we wanted to get him to the top and see what happens,” Ross said.
Guillermo Heredia has been a pleasant surprise since being called up by the Braves.
Playing with his fifth team in six seasons, Heredia was plugged into the lineup after injuries to Cristian Pache and Ender Inciarte left a hole in center field.
Heredia had two more hits, drove in a run and raised his on-base percentage to .417 in his ninth start.
BIG LEAGUE DEBUT
Called up before the game, 27-year-old Trevor Megill pitched a scoreless sixth inning for the Cubs in his big league debut. He escaped trouble after surrendering a walk and a single.
Cubs: RHP Rowan Wick (left oblique strain) was transferred to the 60-day injured list so Chicago could call up Megill from the South Bend alternate site to replace struggling RHP Jason Adam. Wick’s progress has slowed as he rehabs from a lingering injury that cropped up in spring training. “Things were progressing really fast, but some abdominal stuff cropped back up,” Ross said. “So we slowed him down little bit.” … In another move, C Austin Romine went on the 10-day DL with a sprained left wrist. C Tony Wolters was called up from the alternate site.
Braves: LHP Max Fried (strained hamstring) threw off the mound before the game and is progressing toward a return to the Atlanta rotation. If he doesn’t have any setbacks, he’ll face hitters later in the week and likely rejoin the roster for next week’s series at Washington. “It’s just a matter of Max kind of checking the boxes and building him back up,” manager Brian Snitker said. … RHP Chris Martin (shoulder inflammation) also threw a side session before the game, though Snitker did not offer a timetable for his return.
The Braves will send RH Ian Anderson (1-0, 3.27 ERA) to the mound in the second game of the series against Cubs RH Trevor Williams (2-1, 4.66).
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