Jarred Kelenic’s homer, Braves’ pitchers too much for Cubs

Jarred Kelenic homered and six Atlanta pitchers combined for a four-hitter as the visiting Braves blanked the Chicago Cubs 3-0 in the rubber game of their three-game series on Thursday afternoon.

Chadwick Tromp had two hits and a run scored and Ozzie Albies went 1-for-3 with a walk, a stolen base and an RBI for Atlanta, which won for the third time in its last four games.

Top pitching prospect AJ Smith-Shawver allowed three hits over 4 1/3 shutout innings in his season debut before giving way to Dylan Lee (1-1), who picked up the win with a hitless inning of relief. Raisel Iglesias struck out two of the batters he faced during a 1-2-3 ninth to garner his 12th save.

Seiya Suzuki had two hits and Ian Happ had a double and a stolen base for Chicago, which lost for the seventh time in 10 games, scoring a total of only 23 during that span. Hayden Wesneski (2-3) took the loss allowing one run on one hit in 1 2/3 innings while striking out two.

Atlanta took a 1-0 lead in the fifth when Kelenic led off with his third home run of the season, a 401-foot drive to right. It was the first homer allowed in 31 innings this season by Wesneski.

The Braves extended the lead to 3-0 in the eighth with two runs off Kyle Hendricks, who was making just the second relief appearance of his career. Tromp led off with a single and advanced to second on a walk to pinch hitter Adam Duvall. One out later, Albies singled to drive in Tromp. Marcell Ozuna then flew out to the wall in left to drive in Duvall with a sacrifice fly.

Rookie Ben Brown moved into the starting rotation to replace the struggling Hendricks, who entered the game with an 0-4 record and 10.57 ERA. Brown allowed just one hit over four innings before giving way to Wesneski. He walked two and struck out six.

Hendricks gave up two runs on four hits and a walk and a strikeout in two innings of relief.

–Field Level Media