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Three-run Eighth Inning, Reversed Call Boost Atlanta Braves Over New York Mets

July 15th, 2012 at 8:27 AM
By Cody Fields

The Atlanta Braves pushed their winning streak to six games, courtesy of a late rally off the New York Mets bullpen. Jason Heyward hit the go-ahead RBI-single to cap off a three-run eighth in the 8-7 win Saturday at Turner Field.

The eighth inning began with the Braves down 7-5, but Brian McCann drew a lead-off walk off Tim Byrdak after being down 1-2. Dan Uggla followed with a single, but things looked bleak after Tyler Pastornicky struck out on a missed bunt and Juan Francisco went down looking.

The next three batters would help the Braves compile three of their six two-out runs on the night.

Michael Bourn started the run scoring in the eighth with a RBI-single up the middle. Martin Prado, who started at shortstop, drove in Uggla with another single, and Heyward brought home the game-winner by going the opposite way to left field.

"These guys have a little swagger right now," Chipper Jones said. "We're playing well, we've got a little winning streak going here. The guys are fighting and scratching and clawing to keep it going."

Craig Kimbrel picked up his 27th save by striking out the side (again) in the ninth.

Freddie Freeman extended his hitting streak to six games with a 3-for-4 night. Freeman brought home two RBIs on a double off R.A. Dickey in the fifth inning.

Freeman's double gave Atlanta a temporary two-run lead that would be surrendered when Chad Durbin gave up two hits to plate two runners he inherited from Tommy Hanson, who was charged with six runs over 5 1/3 innings.

But the double was also set up by a call that was reversed by the umpires. With Prado on first, Heyward blooped a ball in the shallow left field, resulting in a sliding attempt to catch it by Jordany Valdespin. Third base umpire and crew chief Dale Scott initially called Heyward out on the catch and Prado out by means of being doubled off, but he got help and awarded Heyward first and Prado second.

Mets manager Terry Collins would argue the call and be ejected.

"They got it right," Fredi Gonzalez said. "At the end of the day, it's [their job to] get the play right, and they did."

Though the Braves had lead 3-1 due to an Eric Hinske two-run double and an RBI-single from Bourn, neither Hanson nor Dickey factored in the decision, and neither pitcher was on his game. Though Hanson gave up six runs over 5 1/3 innings, Dickey also gave up five runs over five innings.

"I just felt like I could never really get in a groove," Hanson said. "I didn't feel like I had my best stuff today, and my command was shaky. There were times that I felt good and confident, and there were other times I just wasn't throwing it where I wanted to go."

With the no decision, Hanson has only lost once in his last eight starts.

Prado's two hits gave him a team high 34th multi-hit game this year, but Chipper saw his 14-game hit streak end with an 0-for-5 night.

The Braves, coupled with a loss by the Washington Nationals to the Miami Marlins, now sit three games back in the NL East.

Tags: Atlanta, Atlanta Braves, Craig Kimbrel, Eric Hinske, Freddie Freeman, Jason Heyward, Martin Prado, Michael Bourn, MLB, R.A. Dickey, Tommy Hanson

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