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Cubs rally in 9th to edge hot Braves

The Associated Press

The Chicago Cubs’ Albert Almora Jr. celebrates in the dugout after scoring the game-tying run on an Addison Russell double in the ninth inning against the Atlanta Braves on Tuesday in Atlanta.

The Associated PressATLANTA (AP) — Willson Contreras threw one away, then made the tag at home plate to keep the Braves off the scoreboard in the very first inning.

Turns out, the Chicago catcher was just getting warmed up.

Contreras threw out runners at home and third during a wild fifth inning, and the Cubs rallied for two runs in the ninth to stun first-place Atlanta 3-2 on Tuesday night.

“We’ll take it,” Chicago manager Joe Maddon said.

This one really stung for the Braves, who were coming off a 6-1 road trip that propelled them to the best record in the National League.

They were fuming after two questionable calls on the basepaths in the fifth ruined a potentially big inning.

“We’ve been winning most of those games,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “It’s not going to go your way all the time. We’ll be fine.”

After Ronald Acuna Jr. broke a 1-1 tie with a mammoth homer in the eighth, the Cubs bounced back against Atlanta closer Arodys Vizcaino. Back-to-back doubles by Albert Almora Jr. and Addison Russell tied it at 2, and Ben Zobrist came through with a two-out, run-scoring single off Vizcaino (1-2).

Carl Edwards Jr. (2-0) earned the win despite surrendering Acuna’s homer over the 400-foot sign in center field. Brandon Morrow got the final three outs for his 10th save.

Chicago’s Yu Darvish returned from the disabled list after a bout with the flu, only to work just four innings because of cramping. Still, his first appearance since May 2 was an encouraging one, given that he was 0-3 with a 6.00 ERA in his first season with the Cubs.

The only run off Darvish was Ender Inciarte’s fourth-inning homer.

“It was really enjoyable going out there,” Darvish said through an interpreter. “We have such a strong team. When I look behind me, I see all these star players.”

With the game tied at 1 in the fifth, the Braves put runners at first and third with no outs after Javier Baez’s throwing error ruined a potential double play.

That’s when things really got wacky.

First, Mike Montgomery’s pitch skipped past Contreras but caught a fortuitous ricochet off the backstop, bouncing right back to the catcher so he could make a quick throw to Montgomery covering home. The tag caught Johan Camargo on the left shoulder as he made a head-first slide, leading plate umpire Jim Wolf to call him out. The Braves challenged, and at least one replay angle appeared to show Camargo getting his left hand to the plate a split-second ahead of the tag.

After a two-minute review, the call was upheld.

Snitker was irate, screaming and waving his arms in the dugout until Wolf mouthed to him, “Enough.”

“There wasn’t enough evidence to overturn it, I guess,” Snitker said with a shrug.

The manager was angry again when another pitch got away from Contreras, who briefly struggled to find the ball. Charlie Culberson broke for third and appeared to get a foot to the bag before Kris Bryant tagged his ankle, but third-base umpire Sam Holbrook signaled out.

With no more challenges, there was nothing the Braves could do.

“Everybody said he was safe,” Snitker said. “It would be nice to have a couple of those challenges.”

Mike Foltynewicz struck out 10 in five innings, but also walked five and was pulled after throwing 107 pitches. The Cubs scored an unearned run in the fourth on Kurt Suzuki’s throwing error after a strikeout.

Darvish, on the other hand, benefitted from a brilliant defensive play by left fielder Kyle Schwarber in the first, a strange sequence that began after Contreras’ errant throw on Freddie Freeman’s steal of second deflected off the runner into short left field.Speech

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