Tigers’ nine-game road trip ends with 7-4 loss to Braves
ATLANTA (AP) — Don’t ask Dansby Swanson how many homers he can hit this season.
The Braves shortstop insists he isn’t keeping count.
Swanson homered, drove in three runs and scored the tiebreaker on Freddie Freeman’s double in the eighth inning as Atlanta beat the Detroit Tigers 7-4 on Sunday.
Swanson, who hit 14 homers last season, already has 12 this year. He shook his head when asked if he could hit 25 homers this year.
“I’ve never cared about that before and I’m not going to start now,” he said.
Atlanta took two of three from the Tigers for its first home interleague series win since also winning two of three against Detroit in 2016. Atlanta was 0-5-3 in its last eight home series against American League teams.
Braves starter Julio Teheran pitched five scoreless innings and left with a 3-0 lead.
The Tigers pulled even off Jacob Webb in the eighth on back-to-back homers to left field — a two-run shot by Grayson Greiner and a tying liner by JaCoby Jones. Christin Stewart added a ninth-inning homer off Braves closer Luke Jackson.
It was 3-all when Swanson drew a one-out walk from Joe Jimenez (2-3) in the eighth and scored when Freeman lined his 299th career double into the right field corner.
“Swanson was kind of terrorizing us all day offensively,” Greiner said. “He worked a good walk there.”
Freeman said he was confident Swanson could score from first.
“I hooked it, so with Dansby’s speed I knew it,” Freeman said.
After walking Josh Donaldson, Jimenez fielded Austin Riley’s grounder before making a wild throw toward second base that sailed into center field for an error, allowing Freeman to score. Donaldson scored on Ozzie Albies’ deep fly ball to center field. Pinch-hitter Charlie Culberson’s triple to center field drove in Riley.
Offseason wrist surgery has allowed Swanson to swing without pain. He pulled a fastball from Boyd into the left-field seats in the third for a 2-0 lead.
Boyd entered the game with a streak of 12 scoreless innings over two starts before giving up three runs on five hits. The left-hander struck out nine in five innings.
Touki Toussaint (3-0) recorded one out in the eighth.
Tigers: The team is awaiting more opinions of an MRI on 1B Miguel Cabrera’s right knee. He left Friday night’s game and has dealt with knee soreness since spring training. He was held out Sunday for the second straight day. … IF Josh Harrison (left hamstring strain) and IF Jordy Mercer (right quad strain) are expected to see specialist Dr. Daniel E. Cooper on Monday in Dallas.
Braves: Ronald Acuna Jr. was a target for wild throws in the first. He was safe on an infield single when Dixon’s throw from third base hit his shoulder. Acuna flexed his shoulder and remained in the game before being hit again on his back by Boyd’s errant pickoff attempt. Acuna advanced to second before Boyd recorded three straight strikeouts.
Braves bench coach Walt Weiss filled in for manager Brian Snitker, who felt sick before the game and left the dugout to be examined by trainers. Snitker, 63, didn’t return to the dugout. The Braves released no information on his status. “I’m hoping he bounces back quickly,” Weiss said, referring to Snitker as “an old war horse.”
The Tigers committed three errors. “We missed plays again today which kind of cost us,” said manager Ron Gardenhire.
With the Braves’ bullpen mostly in flux this season, former closer A.J. Minter remains at Triple-A Gwinnett despite allowing no runs and striking out 13 in 9 1/3 innings, a span of seven games. Minter went 0-4 with a 9.82 ERA in 15 games with Atlanta. Snitker said Saturday the Braves “don’t have any timetable” for Minter’s return.
Braves right fielder Nick Markakis didn’t start but grounded out in the seventh as a pinch-hitter. He has appeared in 225 consecutive games, the longest active streak in the majors.
Tigers: After concluding their nine-game road trip, the Tigers are off Monday before opening a home series against Tampa Bay on Tuesday night. LHP Ryan Carpenter (0-2, 7.58) is scheduled to face LHP Blake Snell (3-4, 3.06).
Braves: Following an off day on Monday, Atlanta opens a series at Pittsburgh on Tuesday night when LHP Max Fried (7-3, 3.19) is scheduled to face LHP Steven Brault (2-1, 5.87).