Julio Teheran was once again masterful for the Braves, as his only mistake turned out to be the only hit and only run that the Cubs would get off of him, and even though he didn't figure into the official result after Craig Kimbrel blew his second save of the season, Freddie Freeman once again played hero in the bottom of the 10th to give the Braves a 3-2 win in extra innings.
The game got off to what has become a typical start during this calamitous fortnight that the Braves have endured; After a quiet 1st inning for both teams, the Braves squandered an early rally (B.J. Upton struck out with the bases loaded) to end the 2nd inning. The top of the 3rd resulted in Julio Teheran surrendering his only hit of the game; a solo home run from Mike Olt. Th e home run was Olt's 7th of the season, and also the third game in a row in which he'd homered.
Just when it seemed like this was going to be yet another game where the Braves fell behind early and stayed behind, the script changed in the bottom of the 3rd. After Evan Gattis moved Freddie Freeman to 3rd base with a single, Gattis was able to advance into scoring position after a wild pitch from Jason Hammel. Later in that at bat, Chris Johnson hit a liner into left field to score Freeman and Gattis home with 2 outs to make it 2-1.
That seemed to be enough help for Teheran, who absolutely bamboozled the Cubs for the next 4 frames. At one point, Teheran retired 17 straight Cubs batters, and the streak ended in the top of the 8th when he walked Olt with 2 outs. Teheran then forced John Baker to ground out, ending his excellent night with 8 IP, 1 hit allowed, 1 earned run, and 9 strikeouts.
Unfortunately in the top of the 9th, Craig Kimbrel decided to remind everybody that he's actually a human and not an android programmed to save games without fail, and recorded his 2nd blown save of the season. A leadoff hit by Chris Coghlan led to a Ryan Kalish single that scored Coghlan, and Kalish advanced to 2nd after an error from Justin Upton as he fielded the ball. The Braves failed to score in the 9th, and the game went to extras.
In the 10th, we saw Alex Wood make his first appearance of the season from the bullpen and he threw a scoreless frame with 1 strikeout to keep the Cubs at bay.
In the bottom half of the inning, everything went the Braves way. After Jason Heyward got on base with a leadoff walk, Heyward was able to beat a pickoff attempt and stole second base by a hair, thanks to an amazing display of speed and determination. After Wesley Wright intentionally walked Justin Upton, Freddie Freeman made the Cubs pay for that decision by stringing one into center field to bring in Heyward for a walk-off single.
The Braves improved to 19-15 with the win, while the Cubs fell to 12-22. The Braves and Ervin Santana will have a tall order tomorrow as they try to overcome Jeff Samardzija, but for now, it's time to enjoy the fact that the Braves have now won 2 out of their last 3 games. It seems like things are looking up!