Donaldson’s 200th HR helps Braves edge Marlins

Donaldson’s 200th HR helps Braves edge Marlins

Left-hander Dallas Keuchel had his best start of the season and Josh Donaldson swatted his 200th career homer to help the Atlanta Braves hold off the visiting Miami Marlins 4-3 on Sunday.

Keuchel (2-2) pitched 7 1/3 innings — his longest start of the season — and allowed two runs on five hits, walking one and striking out four. He threw a season-high 108 pitches.

The Marlins loaded the bases in the ninth inning against closer Luke Jackson, but Miguel Rojas flied out to end the game. It was Jackson’s 14th save.

Donaldson had a double and a home run, his 18th, and Nick Markakis added three hits for the Braves.

The win gave the Braves a 2-1 series victory. Atlanta has won all seven rubber games this season at home and improved to 10-2 against the Marlins.

Donaldson’s homer came on a 2-1 pitch and was the next pitch after umpire Marty Foster stepped away from home plate and directed words toward the Miami dugout. Donaldson became the 38th active player to have at least 200 homers.

The Braves scored three times in the third inning. Ronald Acuna Jr. walked, advanced to second on a grounder and scored when Freddie Freeman looped an opposite-field single to left. Donaldson ended an 0-for-8 streak with his long two-run homer to right-center field.

The Braves added a run in the fifth inning when Donaldson dropped a double into right field between three Marlins and scored on an opposite-field single by Markakis.

Miami cut the lead to 4-3 in the eighth when Garrett Cooper hit a three-run homer to dead center off reliever Chad Sobotka, who inherited two runners.

The losing pitcher was Trevor Richards (3-10), who worked five innings and allowed four runs on six hits, five walks and five strikeouts. Richards has not won a game since June 2 and lost to the Braves for the second time this season.

Miami’s Starlin Castro had two hits and extending his road hitting streak to 10 games.

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