Freddie Freeman celebrated his 32nd birthday by hitting his 30th home run to help lift the Atlanta Braves to a 5-3 victory over the Miami Marlins on Sunday.
Marlins reliever Antony Bass (3-8) surrendered homers to Ozzie Albies, his 28th, and Freeman, who went deep in the seventh inning to break a tie game, as the Braves won the series finale.
Freeman has at least 30 home runs in each of the last two full seasons, hitting 13 during last year’s 60-game schedule.
The Braves (76-66) extended their lead in the National League East to 4 1/2 games over Philadelphia, which lost to Colorado. Atlanta went 11-8 against the Marlins (60-83) this season and have double-digit victories against Miami in 16 of the last 18 full seasons.
Braves right-hander Jacob Webb (4-2) picked up the victory with a scoreless seventh inning. Luke Jackson worked a perfect eighth and Will Smith allowed a leadoff triple to Jesus Sanchez and a walk to Isan Diaz before escaping to earn his 32nd save.
Atlanta starter Max Fried pitched six innings and allowed three runs on four hits, one walk and seven strikeouts.
The Marlins jumped in front on a solo homer from Sanchez in the second inning, his 10th. The 460-foot blast is the longest ever allowed by Fried. Sanchez went 3-for-4 and hit a home run in all three games of the series.
The Braves took a 2-1 lead in the fourth on Eddie Rosario’s two-run homer. It was his third homer in his first 31 at-bats since joining the Braves in a trade from the Cleveland Indians and ended the team’s two-game homerless streak.
Following the home run, the Marlins training staff checked out starter Edward Cabrera, who was removed with right big toe soreness. The rookie pitched 3 2/3 innings and allowed two runs on three hits, three walks and four strikeouts.
Atlanta added a run in the fifth inning when Travis d’Arnaud singled home Jorge Soler, who extended his career-long hitting streak to 10 games with a leadoff double.
The Marlins squared at 3-all with two in the sixth on RBI singles from Miguel Rojas and Sanchez.