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Freeman sends Braves past Mariners

Jun 28, 2011 - 6:19 AM Seattle, WA (Sports Network) - Freddie Freeman blasted the go-ahead, two-run homer in the seventh inning and Atlanta downed the Seattle Mariners, 3-1, to open a three-game series.

Brian McCann went 3-for-4, including a homer in the opening inning, and Brandon Beachy fanned nine over six frames for the Braves, who posted their sixth victory in eight games.

Beachy (3-1), whose only loss came April 9 against Philadelphia, limited the Mariners to a trio of hits and walked one batter. Craig Kimbrel struck out the side to record his 21st save.

Erik Bedard (4-6) suffered consecutive defeats for the first time since dropping his first four starts to begin the season. The lefty allowed just four hits and fanned five on Monday, but the Mariners lost for the fifth time in seven tries. They've been held to a pair of runs or less in five of those contests.

McCann homered to center field with two outs in the first inning. It was his fifth homer in his last eight games.

Adam Kennedy homered to right field leading the bottom of the fourth, but the Mariners wasted Mike Carp's lead-off double in the fifth.

McCann singled to center leading off the seventh, and with one out Freeman sent a titanic homer to dead center, his ninth of the year.

"You don't think about lefty, right, you just try and go up there and hit the ball up the middle," Freeman said of his homer off the left-hander.

A base hit by Carp in front of McCann opened the door for the Mariners in the seventh. It came with one out, shortly after Dustin Ackley led off with a single. Scott Linebrink then relieved George Sherrill and escaped the jam by getting Franklin Gutierrez to ground into a double play.

The Mariners could only muster a Brendan Ryan walk over the last two innings.

"It's frustrating that we don't get the hits, but it's a team game," Carp said. "We got a really good team, great pitching staff. We know how to hit, we know how to play, it's just a matter of when and where."

Game Notes

Ackley has reached base safely, via hit or walk, in his first 10 games...Tommy Hanson will come off the 15-day disabled list to start Tuesday for the Braves. He's been out since June 13 due to right shoulder tendinitis...Michael Pineda will pitch for the Mariners...Kimbrel leads all MLB relievers with 61 strikeouts.