ATLANTA (AP) — Bud Norris pitched seven strong innings, Adonis Garcia and Tyler Flowers hit home runs and the Atlanta Braves beat Jason Hammel and the Chicago Cubs, 5-1, on Friday night.
Making his second start since returning to the rotation, Norris (2-7) allowed one run on four hits and no walks with six strikeouts. He gave up only one hit in his last four innings.
Garcia and Flowers gave the weak-hitting Braves back-to-back homers for the first time this season. Garcia’s homer off Hammel (7-2) with one out in the second inning barely cleared the center-field wall. Flowers followed with a homer high over the left-field wall for a 2-0 lead.
The Cubs were without first baseman Anthony Rizzo, who was removed from the lineup due to tightness in his back. Manager Joe Maddon said Rizzo’s status is “absolutely day to day.”
Norris lost his spot in the rotation in late April. He made 12 relief appearances before returning to a starting role when Mike Foltynewicz was placed on the 15-day disabled list on June 4 with right elbow soreness.
Jim Johnson pitched a perfect eighth. Arodys Vizcaino got the final three outs, two on strikeouts, for his eighth save.
Garcia had three hits and a walk and also delivered a strong defensive play. He made a diving stop of Addison Russell’s grounder in the fifth before spinning and throwing to first from his knees for the out.
Jason Heyward was 0-for-4 with three strikeouts in his first return to Atlanta with the Cubs.
The Braves led 3-1 before adding two runs in the eighth on Ender Inciarte’s bases-loaded single off Clayton Richard and Freddie Freeman’s fly ball to deep left field.
The game matched the teams with the most losses and most wins in the majors. The Braves, coming off a 1-5 road trip, improved the majors’ worst home record to 7-23.
The two homers lifted the Braves’ meager total to 25, easily the fewest in the majors.
Albert Almora Jr. doubled, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on Dexter Fowler’s groundout in the third inning for the Cubs’ only run.
Hammel allowed three runs on eight hits in 5 2/3 innings.
PLANS FOR COGHLAN
The Cubs added outfielder Chris Coghlan to the 25-man roster. Coghlan, acquired from Oakland on Thursday, arrived in time to take early batting practice on the field. He lined out as a pinch hitter in the eighth.
Maddon said Coghlan will be used primarily in left field, though he wants him to take grounders in case he is needed at first base, second base or third base.
Cubs: IF Tommy La Stella was placed on the 15-day DL with a right hamstring strain. The move was retroactive to Wednesday.
Cubs: RHP Jake Arrieta (9-1, 1.80) will try to bounce back from his first loss of the season when he faces the Braves on Saturday. Arrieta struck out 12 batters in five innings in the Cubs’ 3-2 loss to Arizona on Sunday in his first loss since July 25, 2015 at Philadelphia. Arrieta allowed no runs in 13 innings while winning each of his two starts against the Braves last season.
Braves: RHP Matt Wisler (2-6, 3.98) will try to improve upon his ugly first career appearance against the Cubs when he allowed seven runs on six hits and three walks in only 2 2/3 innings in a 9-3 loss on Aug. 23, 2015.
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