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AP photo by John Amis / Atlanta's Freddie Freeman connects for a grand slam during the sixth inning of the Braves' home game against the Washington Nationals on Sunday. It was Freeman's second grand slam in three games and led the Braves to a 10-3 win.

ATLANTA — Freddie Freeman is a four-time All-Star who has held down the starting job at first base for a decade for the Atlanta Braves, and his power at the plate has provided plenty of highlights in that time.

However, 10 years after his Major League Baseball debut, Freeman had never hit a grand slam heading into Atlanta's weekend series against the Washington Nationals.

Now he has two of them.

Freeman's second slam of his career and the series led the Braves to a 10-3 win over the reigning World Series champions on Sunday as the National League East leaders forced a 2-2 split with their division rivals who are trying to climb out of the cellar.

Winning pitcher Josh Tomlin (2-2) allowed one run in six innings, Marcell Ozuna drove in four runs with three hits — including a homer and a bases-loaded triple — and Tyler Flowers had a two-run double for the Braves.

With Atlanta leading 3-1 in the sixth inning, Kyle Finnegan replaced Washington starter Patrick Corbin and loaded the bases by walking Dansby Swanson. Freeman followed with his seventh homer of the season, a drive into the seats in left-center field at Truist Park.

Freeman said he received a text message from Braves great Chipper Jones, his former teammate, about having two slams in three days.

"He said they come in bunches," Freeman said. "I hope it's not bunches yet and there's more to come."

The first grand slam of Freeman's MLB career came in the second game of Friday's doubleheader to open the series.

Corbin (2-4) has lost four straight decisions. The left-hander allowed five runs, matching his season high, and nine hits in 5 1/3 innings. He struck out six batters and walked four.

"They had a good game plan today," Corbin said of the patience the Braves showed at the plate. "I thought I made some good pitches and gave up some hits on that as well. I thought my stuff was better today."

Corbin faced eight batters in the fourth inning, leaving him at 80 pitches before giving up Ozuna's high homer to the second deck in left field to open the fifth.

Flowers hit his two-run double past a diving Adam Eaton in right field in the fourth. Flowers ran to third before the umpires huddled and ruled the hit, which bounced into a cardboard cutout of a fan near the right-field line, a ground-rule double.

Corbin had a painful start to the game when Ronald Acuña Jr. led off with a line drive that hit the back of the pitcher's left thigh. The exit velocity of the liner was 114 mph. Corbin remained in the game after he was checked by a trainer.

"Right above the knee," Corbin said. "It got all muscle, so it's a little sore. It will probably be sore tomorrow."

More fortunate was a yellow butterfly that was fluttering near the path of Corbin's pitch in the third inning. Replays showed the breaking ball just missing the flying insect.

Eaton (jammed knee) returned to the lineup after missing the first three games of the series, but outfielder Juan Soto (sore left elbow) was held out for a fourth straight game. Second baseman Josh Harrison (bruised left forearm) entered in the sixth as a defensive replacement for Luis Garcia.

Before the game, the Braves recalled right-hander Bryse Wilson, who gave up two runs in the ninth, including a run-scoring triple to Trea Turner. Right-hander Chad Sobotka was optioned back to Atlanta's alternate training site.

 

Mystery ejection

Major League Baseball issued a statement saying it will investigate an incident that caused a delay in the seventh when home plate umpire Hunter Wendlestedt turned toward the stands, looked up and appeared to eject someone.

Someone on the field said "Call security," and crew chief Joe West walked to the Atlanta dugout to use a telephone.

Freeman said he heard someone yelling before Wendlestedt reacted.

"I think I heard someone yelling a couple days ago, too," Freeman said, adding "There's no fans in the stands, so we've got to keep the yelling to ourselves."

The delay came soon after a pitch from Atlanta's Chris Martin to Eric Thames. The umpire stepped away from the plate, turned to face the stands and yelled "You're out!" while cocking his thumb.

The TV broadcast showed Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo standing outside a luxury box during the delay. Nationals manager Dave Martinez said that "somebody screamed" but said he didn't hear it.

"I talked to Hunter briefly," Martinez said. "He said we want to see what we can do about getting a certain guy out."

MLB said in its statement its inquiry was underway.

"We have already been in communication with the Nationals regarding what transpired during today's game, and we will speak with the umpiring crew today," the statement read. "We will expect Joe West's crew to provide a full account of their perspective, and we will follow up with them accordingly."

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