Duvall HR launces Braves to second place in NL East

With newcomers like Adam Duvall, the Braves now have the firepower necessary to persevere without Freddie Freeman. But they are looking forward to welcoming both Freeman and Travis d’Arnaud back to their improved lineup this week.  

Freeman made a late-inning return to action, and Duvall drilled a key home run during the three-run sixth inning that gave the Braves a 5-4 win over the Nationals at Truist Park on Sunday afternoon.

With their sixth win in their past eight games, the Braves now sit two games behind the first-place Phillies and a half-game in front of the now-third-place Mets in the National League East. Atlanta has won consecutive series and would have swept consecutive three-game sets had closer Will Smith not surrendered a two-out, two-run homer in the ninth inning of Saturday’s 3-2 loss.  

Smith’s blown save may have been avoided had Freeman not been forced to exit Saturday’s game in the first inning because of an upper respiratory infection. The reigning National League MVP felt better on Sunday and was inserted to play first base during a double switch in the seventh inning.  

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