- Associated Press - Thursday, August 11, 2016

MILWAUKEE (AP) - Freddie Freeman is closing in on a new career high for homers. His two solo shots weren’t enough for the Atlanta Braves on Wednesday night.

Freeman hit his 20th and 21st home runs, but Chris Carter had a three-run shot to lift the Milwaukee Brewers over the Braves 4-3.

Freeman pulled the Braves within 4-2 when he led off the fourth with his first homer, then made it 4-3 leading off the eighth when he hit the first pitch from Corey Knebel just inside the left-field foul pole. It was his second multihomer game this season and the eighth of his career.

Braves starter Joel De La Cruz left after getting hit in the right knee by Orlando Arcia’s two-out grounder in the fourth. The ball deflected to first baseman Freeman, who tagged Arcia to end the inning.

De La Cruz hobbled off the field under his own power. The Braves said he has a right knee bruise, X-rays were negative and he is day to day.

“There was no way he was going back out there,” Braves interim manager Brian Snitker said. “He got squared up pretty good. I think he’ll be okay. We’ll see what he’s like in the morning and the next day.”

De La Cruz allowed four runs and seven hits over four innings. He walked two and struck out two in his third start since returning to the rotation.

A.J. Pierzynski doubled, took third on De La Cruz’s sacrifice and scored on Ender Inciarte’s base hit in the top of the third.

Snitker said Carter was the difference maker.

“You make a mistake to that big guy, he’s going to make you pay. That’s what he does,” Snitker said. “Good ball game, other than the three-run homer. That’s about it, really.”

Carter connected on a 1-2 pitch from De La Cruz (0-5) during a four-run third. Ryan Braun singled in the first run and then Carter cleared the bases with his 26th homer.

The Braves won 4-3 in 12 innings on Monday and 2-1 on Tuesday.

“It’s nice to get a few runs on the board,” Carter said after hitting his 19th home run at Miller Park, the most homers at home in the majors. “We’ve struggled the last couple games scoring runs and have lost a couple of close ones.”

Chase Anderson (7-10) allowed two runs and six hits over 5 1/3 innings to win his third straight decision. He walked one and struck out three, helping the Brewers snap a three-game skid.

Tyler Thornburg picked up his fourth save in eight chances with a perfect ninth.

STREAK IS OVER

SS Erick Aybar had his 14-game hitting streak snapped.

TEHERAN NEARS RETURN

RHP Julio Teheran (right lat strain) is scheduled for a side session Thursday. He was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Aug. 2. Interim manager Brian Snitker said Teheran would make a minor league start before coming off the disabled list.

PIERZYNSKI PADS LEAD

Pierzynski caught his 1,933rd career game, the most among active catchers.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Braves: RHP John Gant worked four innings in a rehab start with Triple-A Gwinnett. He allowed two runs on six hits with a walk and three strikeouts. He’s on the 15-day disabled list with a left oblique strain. … C Tyler Flowers (left hand fracture) is getting closer to coming off the disabled list.

UP NEXT

Braves: RHP Roberto Hernandez (1-0, 5.40 ERA), formerly known as Fausto Carmona, makes his second start since having his contract selected from Triple-A Gwinnett on Aug. 6.

Brewers: RHP Matt Garza (3-4, 5.03) looks for his first win over the Braves. He is 0-4 with a 4.93 ERA in six career starts against them.

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