Albies wins it for Braves with solo homer in 11th inning
By GEORGE HENRY, Associated Press
ATLANTA (AP) — Ozzie Albies turned to teammate Danny Santana in the dugout and told him he was about to end the game with one swing.
“It’s time to go home right now,” Albies said. “It’s time to go deep. I went up there with one mentality, of hitting a home run.”
Albies hit a tiebreaking homer in the 11th inning off Dylan Floro and the Atlanta Braves snapped the Cincinnati Reds’ seven-game winning streak with a 5-4 victory on Monday night.
Albies knocked Floro’s first pitch, a changeup, into the right-field seats. Albies doubled twice before hitting Atlanta’s fifth game-ending homer this season. He’s hitting .455 over his last seven games, and his 17 homers are tied for third-most in the NL.
“I’m just trying to hit the ball where it’s pitched,” he said. “Put a good swing on it.”
Rain delayed the start of the game by 1 hour, 20 minutes, the 10th delay at SunTrust Park this season and the third in the last four games.
The NL East-leading Braves have won eight of 12. They improved to 2-7 in extra innings.
Luke Jackson (1-0), the seventh Atlanta pitcher, faced four batters in the 11th to earn the win. Floro (0-1) was the Reds’ sixth pitcher.
Braves reliever Lucas Sims blew a two-run lead in the sixth, allowing three straight singles, issuing a bases-loaded walk and giving up an RBI groundout to pinch-hitter Adam Duvall that made it 3-all.
Scott Schebler doubled to begin the seventh, advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt and made it 4-3 on Joey Votto’s RBI groundout. The Braves tied it at 4-all in the seventh on Santana’s RBI double.
Atlanta starter Mike Foltynewicz, reinstated from the disabled list with right triceps tightness, allowed one run, one hit and four walks in five innings. He struck out four while throwing 91 pitches.
Foltynewicz gave up his first hit to Schebler, whose 10th homer cut the lead to 2-1 in the fifth. Over his last eight starts, Foltynewicz has a 0.96 ERA.
“He had a really fresh arm and just pounded the zone on us and made us work,” Schebler said. “We made him work as well. We weren’t going down easy. We were grinding out at-bats and made him get out of the game probably a lot quicker than he wanted to.”
Reds starter Tyler Mahle loaded the bases with no out in the fifth before a groundout put the Braves up 3-1. Mahle gave up hits, three runs and four walks with five strikeouts in five innings.
Cincinnati was coming off a four-game home sweep of the Chicago Cubs and had won 10 of 12, but the Reds are still stuck in last place in the NL Central, five games out of fourth place.
“Schebler gave us a chance a couple of times,” interim Reds manager Jim Riggleman said. “Tough one to lose, but we did a lot of good things again, and if we play like that we’re going to win a lot of ballgames.”
Markakis, the NL hits leader, singled in the third to reach 100 hits. He leads the league in doubles and multi-hit games and ranks second to Cincinnati’s Scooter Gennett in batting average. Markakis went 2 for 4.
Reds: INF Nick Senzel, the No. 2 overall draft pick of 2016, had season-ending surgery to repair a torn tendon in his right index finger. He suffered the injury on Friday with Triple-A Louisville. In 44 games at Triple-A Louisville, Senzel hit .310 with six homers and 25 RBIs.
Braves: LF Ronald Acuna Jr., sidelined since May 28 with a left knee sprain and bruises to his knee and lower back, will move down in the batting order when he returns from a rehab assignment later this week. He batted in the No. 2 hole in 25 of his 29 games before getting hurt. Manager Brian Snitker likes how Inciarte and Albies are complementing each other in the top two spots.
Reds: RHP Matt Harvey (2-5, 5.66 ERA) will make his ninth start for Cincinnati since getting traded from the New York Mets on May 8. He is 2-3 with a 4.79 ERA with the Reds and is 3-7 with a 5.27 ERA in 12 career starts and one relief appearance against Atlanta.
Braves: RHP Anibal Sanchez (3-1, 2.55 ERA) will face the Reds for the first time since 2015. He is 2-1 with a 2.22 ERA in four starts this month.
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