Braves Hold Off Twins, 9-7, Sweep Series

MINNEAPOLIS — Freddie Freeman had four hits and reached base five times, leading the Atlanta Braves to a 9-7 win over the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday night at Target Field.

Freeman finished a triple short of the cycle and with five RBIs, tying his career high.

Jeff Francoeur also homered as Atlanta took both games of a two-game series. The Braves have won their last seven matchups against the Twins and finished a nine-game road trip 3-6.

Gordon Beckham and Jace Peterson each had two hits and scored three runs. Beckham also drove in a run with an RBI double in the first inning.

Kurt Suzuki homered and had two hits for Minnesota, which has lost three straight games.

The teams combined for 29 hits and every starter in both lineups had at least one hit. It was the first time Atlanta accomplished the feat since Sept. 9.

Braves right hander Mike Foltynewicz (4-4) cruised early, ran into trouble in the middle innings but got deep enough for the win despite allowing seven runs (six earned) and 12 hits in 5 1/3 innings, walking none and striking out three.

Fill-in closer Jim Johnson worked the ninth for his fourth save and second in as many nights.

It didn’t take long for the Braves to get on the board against Twins starter Tyler Duffey, who walked leadoff man Jace Peterson before surrendering a double off the left-field wall by Gordon Beckham for a 1-0 lead.

Freeman singled but was erased on a 4-6-3 double play before the Braves continued their onslaught. Adonis Garcia doubled ahead of Francoeur’s two-run blast over the center-field fence for a 4-0 lead.

The Braves poured it on in the second, getting a leadoff double from Peterson before Freeman blooped an RBI single down the right-field line for a 5-0 lead.

It was the last batter Duffey faced. The right-hander was lifted after just 1 1/3 innings, allowing five runs, eight hits and a walk. It was the shortest outing of his big-league career and second straight that he failed to get out of at least the third inning.

Freeman’s two-run shot to center field in the fourth extended the Braves’ lead to 7-0.

Eddie Rosario’s RBI double got the Twins on the board in the bottom half of the inning and Suzuki’s two-run homer got Minnesota back within 7-3.

Eduardo Nunez led off the fifth for the Twins with a single and Joe Mauer followed with a double to put two runners in scoring position for Miguel Sano, who chopped a two-run single to right to make it 7-5.

NOTES: The Braves traded RHP Lucas Harrell and LHP Dario Alvarez to the Texas Rangers for INF prospect Travis Demeritte. Harrell was 2-2 in five starts for the Braves and pitched six shutout innings in Tuesday’s 2-0 win. Demeritte was hitting .272 with 25 homers and 59 RBIs in Class-A High Desert this season. … Twins 3B Trevor Plouffe took flips in the batting cage before the game and had his live batting practice session moved up to Friday. On the disabled list since July 4 with a fractured rib, Plouffe could head out on a rehab assignment as soon as this weekend. … Atlanta will return home to open a four-game series with the Philadelphia Phillies on Thursday at Turner Field. … Minnesota will make up a postponed game from May 9 against the Baltimore Orioles on Thursday night at Target Field.

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