Freeman, Joyce hit HRs, Braves beat Blue Jays 9-4

Freeman, Joyce hit HRs, Braves beat Blue Jays 9-4
Atlanta Brave's Ronald Acuña Jr. hits a two-run double against the Toronto Blue Jays during the second inning of a baseball game Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2019, in Toronto. (Fred Thornhill/The Canadian Press via AP)

TORONTO (AP) — Freddie Freeman hit his 36th home run and drove in a pair of runs, Matt Joyce homered and had two RBIs and the Atlanta Braves beat the Toronto Blue Jays 9-4 on Wednesday night.

Ronald Acuña Jr. added a two-run double as the NL East-leading Braves snapped a two-game losing streak and won for the ninth time in 11 games.

Braves slugger Josh Donaldson went hitless against his former team for the second straight game. He walked twice and scored in Atlanta’s three-run seventh.

Freeman leads the majors with 107 RBI, one more than Pittsburgh’s Josh Bell.

Joyce is 5 for 10 over his past three games.

Atlanta reliever Luke Jackson (8-2) pitched 1 1/3 innings to win his fifth straight decision. The right-hander has not lost since June 15 against Philadelphia.

After scoring four runs in their previous three games combined, the Braves jumped out to a lead with a five-run second inning, sending nine batters to the plate against Blue Jays right-hander Jacob Waguespack.

Joyce led off with his fifth home run, Rafael Ortega hit an RBI double, Acuña doubled home two and Freeman capped the rally with a two-out RBI double.

Toronto’s Brandon Drury hit an RBI groundout off Braves right-hander Mike Foltynewicz in the fourth and a second run scored on a passed ball. Randal Grichuk hit an RBI double in the fifth and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. made it a one-run game with a two-out RBI single off Jackson in the sixth.

Atlanta countered with three in the seventh. Toronto’s Jason Adam walked Ozzie Albies, hit Freeman and walked Donaldson to load the bases before giving way to Neil Ramirez. Joyce greeted Ramirez with an RBI single and Adeiny Hechavarria followed with a two-run single to left.

Freeman hit a leadoff drive to center off left-hander Buddy Boshers in the ninth.

Waguespack (4-2) lost for the first time since July 26 against Tampa Bay, ending a five-start unbeaten streak. The rookie allowed five runs, three earned, and six hits in three innings, his shortest start of the season.

Foltynewicz allowed three runs, two earned, and eight hits in 4 2/3 innings. He walked one and struck out three.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Braves: C Francisco Cervelli left in the second because of a cramp in his left quadriceps. Cervelli began limping while rounding second base on Ortega’s RBI double. Tyler Flowers came on to replace Cervelli.

Blue Jays: OF Brandon Drury was replaced by Billy McKinney in left field to begin the seventh.

ROSTER REPORT

Blue Jays: RHP Nick Kingham cleared waivers and became a free agent.

UP NEXT

Braves: Atlanta is off Thursday. The Braves return home Friday to begin a three-game interleague series against the Chicago White Sox. Neither team has named a starter for Friday.

Blue Jays: Toronto gets the day off Thursday. RHP Trent Thornton (4-8, 5.34) starts Friday in the opener of a three-game series against Houston. LHP Wade Miley (13-4, 3.13) starts for the Astros.

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