The Braves offense appears to have come around. Let's hope it stays that way.
Atlanta's hitters jumped on Bronson Arroyo early and the Braves defeated the Reds for an epic 7-6 victory. Chipper Jones delivered the game-winning hit with two on in the 12th inning to even the series at one apiece.
The offensive outburst started in the first when Eric Hinske scored Chipper Jones with a two-out single. In the second with two on and one out, Jordan Schafer dropped down a bunt single to score Freddie Freeman. Martin Prado followed with an RBI single of his own to score Alex Gonzalez.
The Braves appeared to put the game out of reach in the third when Brian McCann and Freddie Freeman each hit solo home runs to run the score to 5-0, but Derek Lowe struggled mightily with his location. He loaded the bases with one out, a single and two walks, in the first inning, but induced a double play out of Jay Bruce. Lowe escaped another bases-loaded jam in the third, but Jay Bruce again grounded out without a run scoring.
Lowe, however, could not escape the fourth inning. Following two singles and a walk to load the bases again, Drew Stubbs smacked a bases-clearing double to right and Brandon Phillips followed with an RBI double of his own to close within 5-4. Joey Votto tied the game with a single to center. In the span of four pitches, Derek Lowe allowed five runs and left the game having completed only 3.1 innings.
Adding insult to injury was Reds reliever Jeremy Horst, making his major-league debut. Not only did Horst strike out two in his first inning of work in the fourth, he delivered a tie-breaking single in the fifth. That lead didn't last long, because Brian McCann belted his second home run of the game in the bottom of the inning off Horst.
Both bullpens kept the other offense at bay. The Reds were able to put two on base in the seventh, but were unable to score thanks to Jordan Schafer's inning-ending catch to rob Fred Lewis of a hit. They threatened again in the eighth when Scott Rolen singled with Joey Votto on base, but was thrown out at second to end the inning.
Scott Linebrink pitched two scoreless innings thanks to some defense in the 12th. Edgar Renteria singled to start the inning and with one out, Linebrink walked Chris Heisey, but induced a double play out of Drew Stubbs to end the inning.
The Braves ended the game when Schafer and Prado both walked before Chipper Jones smacked the walkoff hit.
Reds outfielder Jonny Gomes entered the game hitting .162, but delivered four hits, including a double.
The Braves try to win the series Sunday; Jurrjens against Cueto.