Friday May 24th, 2024 9:41AM

Matt Olson hits 3-run homer to support Chris Sale's dominant start in Braves' 7-0 rout of Cubs

By The Associated Press

ATLANTA (AP) — Matt Olson hit a three-run homer and drove in four, Chris Sale pitched two-hit ball over seven innings and the Atlanta Braves beat the Chicago Cubs 7-0 Tuesday night for their second straight shutout in the series.

Michael Harris II also homered for Atlanta, which has won six of seven. The Cubs were held to three hits by Sale and relievers Aaron Bummer and Jackson Stephens and have managed a combined eight hits while being outscored 9-0 in the first two games of the series.

Olson said he needed to relax after entering the game with a .209 batting average.

“I've just been grinding a little bit, started getting uptight," Olson said. "Sometimes you have to just relax a little bit and trust it out there.”

Sale (6-1) had nine strikeouts, his third consecutive start with at least nine, and didn't walk anybody. The right-hander won his fifth straight start.

Right-hander Jameson Taillon's fielding error on Orlando Arcia's grounder helped set up the Braves' six-run fourth inning, including the homers by Harris and Olson. Five runs in the inning were unearned.

Taillon (3-1) allowed seven runs, two earned, in four innings.

“I felt fine stuff-wise but the fourth inning got away from me,” Taillon said, adding, “I don't think I need to overthink this too much.”

Harris led off the fourth with his fourth homer, his first since April 19. Olson, who doubled in a run in the first, added the three-run shot, his fifth.

Braves manager Brian Snitker said he wasn't concerned about Harris's power drought or Olson's slow start.

“It’s good, it was going to happen,” Snitker said. “These guys are all going to get it going at sometime."

Cubs right-hander Tyson Miller threw two scoreless innings in his debut after he was acquired from the Seattle Mariners for minor league infielder Jake Slaughter. Left-hander Richard Lovelady was designated for assignment to clear a spot on the 40-man roster.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Cubs: SS Nico Hoerner was scratched with left hamstring tightness. “I wasn't in a great spot to play today but we're going to check back in tomorrow,” Hoerner said, adding he had “a little bit of concern” with the hamstring before Tuesday. ... DH Christopher Morel started after leaving Monday night’s game in the ninth inning with a sore left foot but had the same foot hit by a pitch from Sale in the first inning. Morel remained in the game.

Braves: Snitker said 3B Austin Riley reported he felt “a lot better” but was held out for the second straight game due to inflammation in his left side. ... RHP Reynaldo López, who was limited to five innings on Monday night due to tightness in his back, is expected to make his next start. ... RHP Pierce Johnson (right elbow inflammation) is expected to throw a simulated game on Wednesday.

UP NEXT

RHP Charlie Morton (3-0, 3.14) is scheduled to start for Atlanta in Wednesday night's series finale. The Cubs have not announced their starting pitcher. Morton will be making his first start against the Cubs since July 28, 2016 while with the Chicago White Sox.

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AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb

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