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Twins, Dodgers, Braves, Marlins, Pirates pull off wins

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Twins dodged a sweep by cooling off the Cleveland Guardians in a 1-0 win. Nick Gordon hit a third-inning home run that stood up for Minnesota starter Devin Smeltzer. The Guardians failed to score against Minnesota’s struggling bullpen with runners in scoring position in each of the last three innings. Caleb Thielbar recorded his first save by striking out pinch-hitter Steven Kwan to end the game. The Guardians lost for just the fifth time in 22 games. They lead the Twins in the AL Central by percentage points. The two teams have a five-game series next week.

CINCINNATI (AP) — Freddie Freeman homered and drove in three runs ahead of what’s sure to be an emotional weekend, leading Clayton Kershaw and the Los Angeles Dodgers over the Cincinnati Reds 10-5 for a sweep of the season series. Cody Bellinger, Max Muncy, Will Smith and Justin Turner also homered for the NL West-leading Dodgers, who outscored the Reds 52-18 in winning all seven games against them this year. The Dodgers now travel to Atlanta, where Freeman was the longtime face of the franchise and helped the Braves win the World Series last year. He then became a free agent and signed a $162 million, six-year deal with the Dodgers. At 32, the All-Star first baseman is hitting .303 with eight home runs and 45 RBIs. Cincinnati has lost seven straight.

ATLANTA (AP) — Dansby Swanson hit two home runs and the Atlanta Braves built a big lead early before holding off the San Francisco Giants 7-6 Thursday for their 18th win in 21 games this month. Swason had three hits and drove in three runs. He hit a leadoff home run in the first and connected again in the fourth, his 12th, for a 7-1 lead. It was his seventh career multihomer game. The defending World Series champion Braves moved 11 games over .500 for the first time this season.

MIAMI (AP) — Avisaíl García (av-ih-sah-EEL’) drove in the go-ahead run on a fielder’s-choice grounder in the eighth inning, and the Miami Marlins beat the Colorado Rockies 3-2 to complete a three-game sweep. Four relievers combined to throw 4 1/3 scoreless innings for the Marlins. Steven Okert pitched a scoreless eighth to pick up his second win of the series. Tanner Scott struck out the side in the ninth for his seventh save. Miami’s Jon Berti had two hits and stole two bases, extending his streak of successful attempts to a club-record 21. Brendan Rodgers doubled twice, tripled and singled for the Rockies, who stranded 13 runners and were 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position.

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Michael Chavis hit a tying home run in the eighth before pulling off a defensive gem and delivering a game-ending single in the 10th, sending the Pittsburgh Pirates over the Chicago Cubs 8-7. Chavis’ solo homer made it 7-all after the Cubs scored five times in the top of the eighth. In the 10th, Chavis charged a slow grounder by Jason Heyward toward first base and threw out Patrick Wisdom at the plate. The call stood after a Chicago challenge. In the bottom half, Chavis blooped a single to right and automatic runner Ke’Bryan Hayes scored in a collision with catcher Wilson Contreras. Hayes remained down for a few moments before walking off under his own power. Hayes homered earlier in the game.

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