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Wednesday June 26th, 2019 10:15PM

Acuña hits grand slam after early fracas, Braves top Pirates

By The Associated Press
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ATLANTA — Ronald Acuña Jr. hit a grand slam, Ozzie Albies added two homers and the Atlanta 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 words with Musgrove, took a few steps toward the mound and then shoved catcher Elias Díaz, 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. No punches were thrown and the field was quickly cleared.

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.

Marte hit another homer off Jerry Blevins in the eighth for his first multi-homer game since Aug. 18, 2014, also against Atlanta. Pinch-hitter Corey Dickerson drove in two runs with a bases-loaded single off Dan Winkler in the eighth.

Left-hander Sean Newcomb (1-0) relieved Gausman and allowed only one hit with six strikeouts in 4 2/3 innings.

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

McRae hit Austin Riley with a pitch and walked Brian McCann before giving up Acuña's grand slam in the second. The 436-foot shot to left field was Acuña's first career regular-season slam. He hit a slam in last season's NL division series loss to the Dodgers.

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.

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

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

TRAINER'S ROOM

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.

UP NEXT

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.

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