Atlanta at Seattle

W: B. Beachy (3-1) L: E. Bedard (4-6)
S: C. Kimbrel (21)
HR: ATL - B. McCann (14),F. Freeman (9)   SEA - A. Kennedy (6)

Braves 3, Mariners 1 wire reports

SEATTLE -- Freddie Freeman saw first-pitch fastballs in his first two at-bats Monday night.

He guessed right that Seattle starter Erik Bedard was going to throw him a third.

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"I didn't want to let another one go by, so I tried to get there a little bit earlier," Freeman said.

Freeman became only the second Atlanta batter to get a hit off Bedard and his tiebreaking, two-run homer in the seventh inning gave the Braves a 3-1 victory against the Mariners.

Bedard (4-6) spent most of the night fooling the Braves before trying to sneak a high fastball past Freeman. The rookie was ready, hitting his ninth home run of the season. The drive barely eluded the reach of Franklin Gutierrez, who climbed the wall in center field only to come up a few feet short.

It was another night when the Braves' talented youth was on display. Freeman's home run made a winner of young right-hander Brandon Beachy (3-1), who struck out nine in six strong innings before turning it over to Atlanta's stellar bullpen.

George Sherrill, Scott Linebrink and Eric O'Flaherty were the bridges through the seventh and eighth before rookie Craig Kimbrel pitched the ninth for his 21st save in 26 chances, striking out the side.

For most of the night, Brian McCann was the entire Atlanta offense. He homered in the first off Bedard -- his 14th of the season and fifth in the past eight games -- and later added a pair of singles. Until Freeman's home run in the seventh, McCann was the only Braves batter to reach base via a hit, with the rest of the lineup going 0 for 18.

"Curveball, fastball, lefty, right, it seems like he's just putting the barrel on the ball," Freeman said. "It's awesome to see."

Freeman had put on a power display himself during batting practice, rattling the facade of the upper deck in right field, then showed off some of that pop with a 412-foot shot.

"For Freddie to hit straightaway center in this ballpark, it's not a cheap one," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "You've got to hit it to get it out of here. It plays legit."

Making his second start since coming off the disabled list, Beachy was nearly at his best. He struck out five his first time through the Mariners' lineup and nine total, only two short of his career high. He has 20 strikeouts in 12 innings since coming off the disabled list.

"These guys are going to have to find a way to get tougher up there, start squaring up some fastballs," Mariners manager Eric Wedge said. "They can't feel sorry for themselves, can't get down on themselves. The only way you're going to get better is fight through it, be more aggressive and be tougher."

Beachy allowed three hits and four baserunners, but made one crucial mistake. In the fourth inning he left a 3-1 fastball over the middle of the plate and Adam Kennedy slapped it into the seats in right for his sixth home run of the season.

Beachy didn't lament Kennedy's solo home run too much but was critical of himself for letting his pitch count climb early and being unable to make it into the seventh.

"I'm wasting too many pitches. I would like to get deeper into games," Beachy said. "I really need to get through seven, get into the eighth inning. That's just something I need to be able to do. I need to be more efficient."

Bedard was a hard-luck loser despite his 12th consecutive start giving up three earned runs or less. He allowed four hits and struck out five, but wasn't helped by a Seattle offense that continued to struggle with runners in scoring position.

Seattle missed chances in the fifth when Mike Carp's leadoff double was wasted as Beachy escaped the jam by getting a popout from Chone Figgins, then striking out Ichiro Suzuki for a second time.

"We've had some tough nights this year offensively, but tonight was particularly disappointing," Wedge said. "We gave away some ABs and didn't have people step up when we had some opportunities."

In the seventh, rookie Dustin Ackley led off with a single off Sherrill, but Nate McLouth kept him there when he chased down Miguel Olivo's bid for an extra-base hit with a sliding catch in the gap.


Atlanta's Jason Heyward batted leadoff for the first time in his career and went 1 for 4 with a double in the eighth off reliever Aaron Laffey. ... Braves RHP Tommy Hanson will come off the disabled list Tuesday to make his first start since going on the DL on June 13 with shoulder tendinitis. ... Ackley continued his impressive start, now having hit safely in eight of his 10 games and reached base in all 10 games since the prized prospect made his debut on June 17.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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Players of the Game

B. McCann
AB 4
R 2
H 3
HR 1

E. Bedard
IP 7.0
H 4
ER 3
BB 1
K 5

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Atlanta Braves
Jason Heyward, RF4010011 .227
Julio Lugo, 3B4000010 .143
Brian McCann, C4231002 .307
Chipper Jones, DH4000022 .257
Freddie Freeman, 1B4112001 .268
Dan Uggla, 2B4000000 .175
Alex Gonzalez, SS3000000 .243
Nate McLouth, CF-LF3000000 .238
Wilkin Ramirez, LF2000110 .111
    Jordan Schafer, CF0000000 .222
2B - Jason Heyward (9, Laffey)
HR - Brian McCann (14, Bedard), Freddie Freeman (9, Bedard)
RBI - Brian McCann (44), Freddie Freeman 2 (32)
2-OUT RBI - Brian McCann (17)
CS - Wilkin Ramirez (1, 2nd base by Bedard/Olivo)
Team LOB - 3
DP - A. Gonzalez-Uggla-Freeman
Atlanta Braves
Brandon Beachy (W,3-1) 6311191 3.04
George Sherrill (H,3) 0.1200000 2.25
Scott Linebrink (H,5) 0.2000000 3.34
Eric O'Flaherty (H,15) 1000110 1.24
Craig Kimbrel (S,21) 1000030 2.77
Pitches-Strikes - Brandon Beachy 107-74, George Sherrill 5-3, Scott Linebrink 6-3, Eric O'Flaherty 17-9, Craig Kimbrel 12-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brandon Beachy 4-5, Scott Linebrink 1-0, Eric O'Flaherty 2-0
Batters Faced - Brandon Beachy 22, George Sherrill 3, Scott Linebrink 1, Eric O'Flaherty 4, Craig Kimbrel 3
Seattle Mariners
Ichiro Suzuki, RF4010021 .273
Brendan Ryan, SS3000121 .248
Adam Kennedy, DH4111011 .270
Justin Smoak, 1B4000010 .251
Dustin Ackley, 2B3010120 .303
Miguel Olivo, C4000022 .220
Mike Carp, LF3020011 .226
Franklin Gutierrez, CF3000012 .197
Chone Figgins, 3B3000011 .186
2B - Mike Carp (2, Beachy)
HR - Adam Kennedy (6, Beachy)
RBI - Adam Kennedy (24)
Team LOB - 5
E - Brendan Ryan (6, Throwing)
Seattle Mariners
Erik Bedard (L,4-6) 7433152 3.00
Aaron Laffey 1100000 1.95
Chris Ray 1000000 5.32
Pitches-Strikes - Erik Bedard 104-65, Aaron Laffey 14-9, Chris Ray 11-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Erik Bedard 4-11, Aaron Laffey 4-0, Chris Ray 1-2
Batters Faced - Erik Bedard 25, Aaron Laffey 5, Chris Ray 3
Game Information
Attendance - 26467
Game Time - 2:38
Temperature - 67
Umpires - Home - Gary Darling, First Base - Paul Emmel, Second Base - Rob Drake, Third Base - Clint Fagan