ATLANTA (AP) — The Atlanta Braves closed their final home regular-season game with new injury concerns about Freddie Freeman and his status for the playoffs.
A recurrence of pain caused by a bone spur in his right elbow forced Freeman to leave the Braves’ 4-1 loss to the San Francisco Giants on Sunday.
Braves manager Brian Snitker said Freeman will remain in Atlanta for four days of treatment instead of joining the team for a two-game series in Kansas City. Off days on Monday and Thursday made the decision easy for Snitker and general manager Alex Anthopoulos.
“If we were in the playoffs tomorrow, he would be in the lineup,” Snitker said.
“At times it kind of bites him a little bit. He gets treatment and he’s fine. … We want to make sure that thing gets back right.”
Snitker rested Freeman on Saturday night, and the first baseman drove in a run with a groundout in the sixth on Sunday before leaving the game in the eighth.
“It’s obviously not ideal,” said Freeman of the injury. “It responded pretty good with that off day last week, so we hope four days will really do the trick.”
Freeman, who won a Gold Glove at first base last season, is a key to the NL East champion Braves’ hopes to win their first playoff series since 2001. He is hitting .296 with 38 homers and leads the NL with 121 RBIs.
The renewed elbow pain causes concern for Freeman’s status for the playoffs.
The Braves plan on Freeman joining the team in New York for Friday night’s first game of the final regular-season series against the Mets.
“Hopefully some good treatment will make it go away,” he said. “… Hopefully I’ll be ready to go for the game on Friday.”
Rookie Logan Webb allowed only two hits and one run in six innings as San Francisco prevented the Braves from sweeping the three-game series. Evan Longoria drove in two runs with two hits.
Snitker, preparing the NL East champions for the playoffs, rested outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr., third baseman Josh Donaldson and second baseman Ozzie Albies. Albies had his second straight day off before reaching on a pinch-hit single in the ninth.
Webb (2-2) struck out seven. He opened the game with five scoreless innings before Adeiny Hechavarría tripled in the sixth and scored on Freeman’s groundout.
Relievers Tyler Rogers and Will Smith closed out the combined five-hitter. Smith pitched the ninth for his 34th save.
After being outscored 14-1 in losing the first two games of the series, the Giants scored three runs in the sixth off Dallas Keuchel (8-7).
Longoria was only 2 for 17 on the road trip before driving in Austin Slater with a double to right-center off Keuchel in the sixth.
Joey Rickard’s double to left field drove in Longoria and Kevin Pillar, who reached on shortstop Dansby Swanson’s fielding error.
Longoria added a run-scoring single off Luke Jackson in the seventh.
Rickard and Mike Yastrzemski had two hits.
Keuchel allowed three runs, two of them earned, on six hits in six innings.
The Braves haven’t given up on utility player Johan Camargo returning from a right shin fracture. Camargo has been on the injured list since Sept. 12. With Charlie Culberson out for the season with facial fractures after being hit by a pitch, the Braves’ bench has lost its most versatile players.
The turnout of 33,674 for the final home game left the Braves with their top attendance total since 2007. The season attendance was 2,655,100 — about 100,000 more than 2018’s total of 2,555,781. The 2007 total was 2,745,207.
COX VISITS BOCHY
Giants manager Bruce Bochy had a pregame visit from former Braves manager Bobby Cox, who is recovering from a stroke. The visit sparked memories for Bochy, who is retiring after the season, before his final road game.
“That was really special,” said Bochy, who said the visit added to his emotions for the game. “I spent a little bit of time with him. You look at the years gone by and I was thinking of our battles, playing the Braves when Bobby was managing, so sure, it was a little bit more today than it’s been in the past.”
Swanson hit leadoff for only the second time this season and was 0 for 4 with two strikeouts, dropping his batting average to .244. He whiffed on Longoria’s grounder in the ninth for his second fielding error.
Giants: Following an off day Monday, the Giants finish the season with a six-game homestand which opens on Tuesday night against Colorado with LHP Madison Bumgarner (9-9, 3.86) facing RHP Jeff Hoffman.
Braves: Atlanta opens a two-game series at Kansas City on Tuesday night with RHP Julio Teheran (10-10, 3.55) facing Danny Duffy.
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