Soroka shines and the Braves bats come alive in win over Miami

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Friday, June 7, 2019

MIAMI (AP) -- Ronald Acuna Jr. hit a score-settling homer off Jose Urena and celebrated by tossing his bat over his shoulder, and the Atlanta Braves rode starter Mike Soroka to a 7-1 win over the Miami Marlins on Friday night.

Urena was suspended for six games for intentionally hitting Acuna on the arm with a pitch last August, triggering a melee. That may explain why Acuna showboated a bit when he homered in the fourth, carrying his bat most of the way to first base before flipping it high in the air. Acuna blew a big gum bubble after rounding second base, then pointed into his dugout and shouted as he approached home
plate.

It was Acuna's 13th homer. He also had a one-hop RBI single off the fence against Urena in the second, and a run-scoring single off Wei-Yin Chen in the fifth.

Soroka (7-1) pitched one-run ball into the ninth inning and lowered his ERA to 1.38. He gave up three hits, struck out six and won his seventh consecutive decision. He retired 10 in a row before allowing a leadoff walk -- his second -- in the ninth and then departed.

That runner came around to score, but Dan Winkler got the final three outs to complete a five-hitter.

Freddie Freeman hit his 17th home run and contributed three RBIs, and Ozzie Albies added three hits.

The Braves totaled 14 hits and looked like a team buoyed by a major upgrade, which they are. Free agent pitcher Dallas Keuchel agreed to a one-year contract with the Braves for about $13 million Thursday, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press.

Atlanta didn't need Keuchel against Miami. Soroka threw 99 pitches and allowed less than four earned runs for the 10th time in as many starts this season.