Javier Assad shuts down Braves as Cubs roll to 7-1 win in series finale


ATLANTA (AP) — Javier Assad pitched six shutout innings and the Chicago Cubs avoided their first sweep of the season by beating the Atlanta Braves 7-1 on Wednesday night.

Assad (4-0) allowed just four hits and walked one while matching a season high with seven strikeouts. He lowered his ERA to 1.49 through nine starts.

Pete Crow-Armstrong went 2 for 4 with a triple, two RBIs and a run scored, and Seiya Suzuki and Mike Tauchman homered for the Cubs, who had 13 hits after mustering just eight while being shut out in the first two games of the series.

Nick Madrigal had three hits and Michael Busch scored two runs.

Charlie Morton (3-1) lasted just three innings for the Braves, giving up four runs — three earned — and five hits with three walks and four strikeouts.

The Cubs' Ben Brown gave up a run in two innings of relief, and Luke Little finished with a scoreless ninth.

The Cubs shook off their offensive woes from the first two games of the series immediately when Tauchman lifted the game's first pitch — one of 35 thrown by Morton in the first inning — over the left field wall.

Suzuki followed with a double and Cody Bellinger singled. Christopher Morel's grounder to shortstop knocked in another run before Madrigal's infield single loaded the bases. Crow-Armstrong was hit on the shin to force in a run and give the Cubs a 3-0 lead.

The Cubs tacked on another run against Morton in the third. After Miles Mastrobuoni walked and Madrigal singled to put runners at first and third, Morton threw wild to first on a pick-off attempt, plating Mastrobuoni.

The Braves avoided a shutout in the seventh inning on a pair of doubles by Orlando Arcia and Zack Short.

The Cubs are now 3-13 in their last 16 games at Truist Field.