Bud Norris shines as Braves beat Jason Hammel, Cubs 5-1
ATLANTA (AP) Bud Norris is determined to stay in Atlanta's rotation.
He made a good case with a dominant win over baseball's best team.
Norris pitched seven strong innings, Adonis Garcia and Tyler Flowers hit home runs and the Atlanta Braves beat Jason Hammel and the Chicago Cubs 5-1 on Friday night.
Making his second start since returning to the rotation, Norris (2-7) allowed one run on four hits and no walks with six strikeouts. He gave up only one hit in his last four innings.
The quality start was no surprise to Cubs manager Joe Maddon.
''I mean, the guy just pitches really well whenever I've seen him,'' Maddon said. ''I've not seen him pitch poorly, ever, I don't think. He should actually paste my picture underneath the bill of his hat.''
Braves interim manager Brian Snitker said Norris ''was great'' and will receive at least one more start.
Norris lost his spot in the rotation in late April. He made 12 relief appearances before returning to a starting role when Mike Foltynewicz was placed on the 15-day disabled list on June 4 with right elbow soreness.
Norris said he used his time in the bullpen to sharpen his mechanics.
''I'm happy with the time I spent down there to help the club, but obviously this is where I want to be and this is where I feel I can help the most,'' Norris said.
Garcia and Flowers gave the weak-hitting Braves back-to-back homers for the first time this season. Garcia's homer off Hammel (7-2) with one out in the second inning barely cleared the center-field wall. Flowers followed with a homer high over the left-field wall for a 2-0 lead.
The two homers lifted the Braves' meager total to 25, easily the fewest in the majors.
The Cubs were without first baseman Anthony Rizzo, who was removed from the lineup due to tightness in his back. Manager Joe Maddon said Rizzo's status is ''absolutely day to day.''
Jim Johnson pitched a perfect eighth. Arodys Vizcaino got the final three outs, two on strikeouts, for his eighth save.
Albert Almora Jr. doubled, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on Dexter Fowler's groundout in the third inning for the Cubs' only run.
Hammel allowed three runs on eight hits in 5 2/3 innings.
NOT HAPPY HOMECOMING
Jason Heyward was 0 for 4 with three strikeouts in his first return to Atlanta with the Cubs. Heyward, from the Atlanta area, played for the Braves from 2010-14.
ALL-AROUND PLAY FOR ADONIS
Garcia had three hits and a walk and also delivered a strong defensive play. He made a diving stop of Addison Russell's grounder in the fifth before spinning and throwing to first from his knees for the out.
Garcia has reclaimed the starting job at third base since being recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett on May 27.
''A lot of times it doesn't do harm to send somebody back,'' Snitker said. ''They do get a chance to refocus and realize some things and reassess themselves.''
PLANS FOR COUGHLAN
The Cubs added outfielder Chris Coghlan to the 25-man roster. Coghlan, acquired from Oakland on Thursday, lined out as a pinch hitter in the eighth.
Maddon said Coghlan will be used primarily in left field, though he wants him to take grounders in case he is needed at first base, second base or third base.
Cubs: IF Tommy La Stella was placed on the 15-day DL with a right hamstring strain. The move was retroactive to Wednesday.
Cubs: RHP Jake Arrieta (9-1, 1.80) will try to bounce back from his first loss of the season when he faces the Braves on Saturday. Arrieta struck out 12 batters in five innings in the Cubs' 3-2 loss to Arizona on Sunday in his first loss since July 25, 2015 at Philadelphia. Arrieta allowed no runs in 13 innings while winning each of his two starts against the Braves last season.
Braves: RHP Matt Wisler (2-6, 3.98) will try to improve upon his ugly first career appearance against the Cubs when he allowed seven runs on six hits and three walks in only 2 2/3 innings in a 9-3 loss on Aug. 23, 2015.