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MLB: Braves start fast, hold off Cubs 8-7

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Freddie Freeman and Dansby Swanson each hit home runs, and the Atlanta Braves held on for an 8-7 victory over the visiting Chicago Cubs on Monday night.

Travis d’Arnaud went 2-for-4 with two RBIs for Atlanta, while Ozzie Albies and Guillermo Heredia drove in one run apiece. The Braves snapped a two-game skid and improved to 3-1 against the Cubs this season.

Kris Bryant clubbed a grand slam for Chicago, which dropped its third consecutive game. Willson Contreras added a two-run home run for the Cubs.

Braves right-hander Charlie Morton (2-1) allowed five runs on four hits in 5 1/3 innings. He walked three and struck out six while throwing 53 of 89 pitches for strikes.

Cubs right-hander Brandon Workman (0-2) took the loss in relief. He gave up three runs on two hits in one inning while walking one and striking out one.

Braves left-hander Will Smith pitched a scoreless ninth inning to pick up his fifth save.

Atlanta jumped to a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the first. Albies started the outburst with an RBI single, d’Arnaud followed with a two-run single in the next at-bat, and Heredia capped the scoring with an RBI double.

Chicago evened the score at 4-all with one swing of the bat by Bryant in the third. With the bases loaded and two outs, Bryant lifted a deep fly ball over the left-field wall for his sixth career grand slam.

The blast gave Bryant six homers and 16 RBIs in 21 games this season. He already has surpassed his power production from 2020, when he had four homers and 11 RBIs in 34 games.

Atlanta regained a one-run lead in the bottom of the third. Swanson worked the count full with two outs before going deep to the opposite field in right center for his second homer.

A sacrifice fly by Anthony Rizzo in the top of the fifth evened the score at 5-all.

The Braves responded again with a home run. Freeman launched a three-run shot, his sixth, to right field to score Heredia and Ronald Acuna Jr. and give the Braves an 8-5 advantage.

Chicago cut the deficit to 8-7 on a two-run homer by Contreras in the top of the seventh.

–Field Level Media

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