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Acuña leaves early with sore left knee, Sale improves to 8-1 as Braves top Pirates 8-1

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Ronald Acuña Jr. left the Atlanta Braves' 8-1 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates in the first inning on Sunday with left knee soreness, and Chris Sale improved to 8-1 by allowing four hits over seven innings.

Acuña, the reigning NL MVP, led off with a double to right-center field off Martín Pérez. With Marcell Ozuna at the plate, Acuña started toward third on a stolen base attempt and his left knee gave way. Acuña remained down for several minutes while being treated, pointing at his left leg before walking off under his own power.

Jarred Kelenic went 3 for 4 in place of Acuña, a 26-year-old outfielder batting .250 with four home runs and 15 RBIs in 49 games.

Sale struck out eight and allowed one run in another impressive outing for the 35-year-old left-hander, who has regained the form that earned him seven straight All-Star selections from 2012-18 before a string of injuries.

Matt Olson had three RBIs with a home run and a double to salvage the final game of the three-game series.

Pérez allowed one run, four hits and two walks in three innings before a left groin injury. The 33-year-old left-hander was checked after Kelenic beat him to first for a one-out single in the third. He then allowed an RBI double from Ozzie Albies that tied the score 1-1.

Yasmani Grandal had put Pittsburgh ahead with an RBI single in the second.

Travis d'Arnaud doubled off Carmen Mlodzinski (0-2) in the fourth and scored on Orlando Arcia's sacrifice fly. Olson extended the lead to 4-1 an inning later on a two-run double.

Leading off the eighth, Olson drove a fastball from Aroldis Chapman 420 feet into the Allegheny River beyond the Clemente Wall in right. Duvall homered 428 feet into the left-field bleachers off Chapman two batters later, giving the Braves a five-run cushion.


Pirates: C Joey Bart was removed after the first inning and replaced by Grandal because of a left thumb injury.


Braves: RHP Charlie Morton (3-1, 3.35) takes the mound Monday as Atlanta heads home to start a four-game series against Washington and LHP Mitchell Parker (3-2, 3.32)

Pirates: RHP Jared Jones (3-4, 3.05) will start Tuesday, the first of a two-game set in Detroit. LHP Tarik Skubal (6-1, 2.25) starts for the Tigers.



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