Suzuki homers, has words with Bautista in Braves’ win over Blue Jays

Atlanta’s Kurt Suzuki follows through on a home run in the first inning of the Braves’ 8-4 win over the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday. AP photo

The Associated Press

ATLANTA — Baldwin High School graduate Kurt Suzuki hit a three-run homer for the Atlanta Braves and twice stepped in during heated moments in an 8-4 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday.

Suzuki’s homer, his second of the season, was part of a six-run first inning for Atlanta, which lost Freddie Freeman to an injury later in the game.

In the seventh, Kevin Pillar struck out swinging to end the inning and claimed he was quick-pitched by Atlanta’s Jason Motte, yelling toward the mound before Suzuki stepped in to calm things.

In the eighth, the benches emptied after Toronto’s Jose Bautista homered and stood at home plate, staring toward pitcher Eric O’Flaherty before flipping the bat away with a towering toss. Jace Peterson said something to Bautista as he rounded first, and Suzuki and Bautista exchanged words when he touched home.

Atlanta’s Kurt Suzuki and Toronto’s Jose Bautista exchange words after Bautista had rounded the bases on an eighth-inning homer. AP photo

Freeman was struck on the left wrist by a pitch in the fifth inning and left the game. Umpires initially ruled that Aaron Loup’s pitch did not make contact, but with the Atlanta star in obvious pain, the Braves challenged and the call was reversed.

Freeman is batting .341 this season, and his 14 home runs are tied for most in the major leagues.

“A win is a win. We’ll take it,” Suzuki said. “But we’re kind of looking at the big picture. When your best player goes down, and he’s hit in kind of a freak spot, you’re just hoping for the best.”

X-rays on Freeman’s wrist taken at the stadium were inconclusive, and he will have more tests today.

Suzuki also doubled in the sixth inning, and is batting .316 (6-for-19) in May.

Mike Foltynewicz (2-4) allowed three runs in six innings for the win.

Joe Biagini (1-2) took the loss, allowing six runs — one of them unearned because of his error — in four innings.

The teams were meeting for a third straight day in a home-and-home series — Atlanta totaled 19 runs in winning the first two games in Toronto.

“Those guys have taken it to us the last couple days,” said Blue Jays manager John Gibbons, whose team had won five games in a row before the meetings with the Braves.

From Maui to the Majors

Statistics for Baldwin graduate Kurt Suzuki of the Atlanta Braves:

WEDNESDAY: 2-3, 2B, HR, BB, 3 RBI, 2 runs. Hit three-run homer in first inning, doubled and scored in sixth, walked in seventh

SEASON: .231 batting avg. (12-52), 2 HR, 2 2B, 11 RBIs, 6 runs, 3-8 on SB attempts against.