Royals top Braves 4-3 on Alex Gordon's walk-off single

Jamie Squire

With David Lough on second after a single and a sacrifice bunt in the bottom of the tenth inning, Atlanta faced a tough decision with rookie left-hander Alex Wood on the mound as Alex Gordon strolled to the plate and weak-hitting Alcides Escobar stood in the on deck circle.

They had the lefty-lefty matchup, but Gordon came in with a .422 wOBA against left-handed pitching on the year. The Braves elected to pitch to Gordon, and he lined the third pitch he saw into left field, scoring Lough and winning the game 4-3.

Manager Fredi Gonzalez said after the game he never considered using Craig Kimbrel in the bottom of the tenth. Right-hander Anthony Varvaro was warming up in the pen.

Atlanta had a good chance to take the lead in the top of the tenth with runners on first and second after a Jason Heyward single and a walk to Freddie Freeman. With Brian McCann sitting on the bench, Gerald Laird hit a hard grounder to third that started an inning ending double play.

The Braves had to rally due to Kansas City teeing off on Mike Minor early. Alex Gordon led off the game with a solo home run to right field that made it 1-0, and Salvador Perez tallied an RBI single four batters later that scored Billy Butler to make it 2-0. Jordan Schafer's throw almost nailed Butler at the plate, but Laird couldn't corral what was a perfect throw.

Luis Mendoza kept the Braves off the scoreboard for six solid innings, and recorded two outs in the seventh before giving way to Bruce Chen with Dan Uggla on third and Andrelton Simmons on first. Reed Johnson, pinch-hitting for the injured Jordan Schafer, lined a single to center that plated Uggla to make it a 3-1 game. Justin Upton tied things up with a two-run double two batters later.

Minor finished with a line of 6 IP, 9 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 4 K. Luis Avilan and Jordan Walden combined to pitch three scoreless innings of relief.

Outside of the seventh inning, Atlanta's best chance to put up some runs came in the second inning. A single from Freddie Freeman and a double from Laird put runners on second and third with no outs. B.J. Upton flew out to right field, but it wasn't deep enough to score Freeman. After a walk to Dan Uggla that loaded the bases, Chris Johnson struck out and Andrelton Simmons grounded out to waste a great opportunity.

Notes: Jordan Schafer had a x-ray on his ankle after the game, and they came back negative which is good news. That good news did not extend to Ramiro Pena, who will be out for the rest of the season.

Source: FanGraphs

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