ATLANTA (AP) — Ian Anderson allowed one hit in seven innings, Ronald Acuña Jr. hit a long home run and the Atlanta Braves beat the skidding Chicago Cubs 5-0 on Tuesday night.
Anderson (2-0) won his second consecutive start, after throwing 6 2/3 shutout innings in a 4-1 win at Yankee Stadium last Wednesday. He walked only one Cubs batter and struck out eight.
“His last two outings have been excellent,” Acuña said through a translator. “He’s a tremendous pitcher. I’m not surprised at all. He’s a superstar in my opinion.”
Chicago held out Javier Báez and Kris Bryant with injuries in its fourth consecutive loss.
A rookie making his 11th career start and fifth this season, Anderson lowered his ERA to 2.48. Cubs manager David Ross was impressed by the right-hander in his first game against Chicago.
“I thought the changeup was the difference-maker,” Ross said. “He threw it for strikes and it looked like a fastball out of his hands from my vantage point.”
A.J. Minter pitched a perfect eighth. Nico Hoerner’s one-out single off Jacob Webb in the ninth was Chicago’s second hit, but Webb struck out Willson Contreras and David Bote to end the game.
With one out in the fifth, Acuña pulled a belt-high fastball from Trevor Williams (2-2) for the longest of his eight homers this season. The drive traveled 481 feet and landed near the top of the seats in left-center field.
“It’s special. It’s a different sound,” Anderson said. “It’s something I’ve seen a few times now. He seems to thrive in a big moment and that speaks to the kind of player he is.”
Acuña tossed his bat and slapped his chest with both hands as he left the batter’s box for his jog around the bases. The homer was his first since April 15.
“Truthfully, I don’t concern…