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Sanchez interferes at first in fourth inning

MLB.com @mlbbowman

CHICAGO -- Braves shortstop Dansby Swanson's attempt to break a scoreless tie by essentially stealing a run was denied when Anibal Sanchez was called out for baserunner interference to end the top of the fourth inning of Friday afternoon's 4-0 win over the Cubs at Wrigley Field.

Swanson broke toward third base before Yu Darvish delivered a pitch that Sanchez bunted down the first-base line. He alertly continued toward a vacant plate as Cubs catcher Willson Contreras fielded the ball approximately 30 feet up the line.

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CHICAGO -- Braves shortstop Dansby Swanson's attempt to break a scoreless tie by essentially stealing a run was denied when Anibal Sanchez was called out for baserunner interference to end the top of the fourth inning of Friday afternoon's 4-0 win over the Cubs at Wrigley Field.

Swanson broke toward third base before Yu Darvish delivered a pitch that Sanchez bunted down the first-base line. He alertly continued toward a vacant plate as Cubs catcher Willson Contreras fielded the ball approximately 30 feet up the line.

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Contreras' throw sailed wide of first base, but home-plate umpire Bruce Dreckman immediately called interference on Sanchez, who ran through the infield grass on his way toward third base.

The Braves knew the right call was made, but there was some concern about Contreras throwing so violently in Sanchez's direction.

Cubs manager Joe Maddon said there are instances where it calls for the ball to be thrown at a player who might be running out of the baseline. But he also indicated he would have liked to have seen a softer throw.

"We've been trying to work on the touch pass over the middle, the Kenny Stabler thing," Maddon said. "But if you saw the replay, the runner was way inside the line. Under those circumstances, I would encourage the catcher to try to hit the runner because he's that far in. We need to work on downshifting a bit on the throw."

Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com.

Chicago Cubs, Atlanta Braves, Anibal Sanchez