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Atlanta at Cincinnati

Atlanta (59-43) «00102100026120
Cincinnati (57-47)00300001004110

Heyward's two-out double in 11th lifts Braves past Reds

CBSSports.com wire reports

CINCINNATI -- Manager Bobby Cox was so wrapped up in another wild, last-minute win that he didn't realize his Atlanta Braves were going in the right direction again in the NL East standings.

After a week losing most of their lead, they were building it back up.

Jason Heyward knocked in two runs with his third double of the game Friday night, a two-out hit in the 10th inning that rallied Atlanta to a 6-4 victory over the Cincinnati Reds and restored a little bit of that division cushion.

Atlanta moved 3½ games ahead of second-place Philadelphia, which lost 8-1 to Washington in Roy Oswalt's debut with the Phillies -- a score that showed up on the outfield board but got overlooked with so much going on.

"So the Phillies got beat?" Cox said. "It's fun to watch the scoreboard, but you've got to take care of your own game."

Their rookie provided the final thrill.

Francisco Cordero (3-4) walked two batters in the 10th. Heyward worked the count full, then hit a sinking liner that diving left fielder Jonny Gomes couldn't catch, allowing both runners to score. Martin Prado came all the way around from first, diving into the plate and jamming his right hand. He went for precautionary X-rays.

Heyward worked the count full, fouled a pitch off his foot, then went the opposite way for his game-winning hit.

"I had a good idea what I wanted to do with that at-bat, just be patient and not try to do too much," Heyward said. "He made a good pitch on 3-2 before that. I just got a piece of it."

Impressive all around.

"That at-bat Heyward had -- you're 20 years old, you're not supposed to be doing stuff like that against one of the better closers in the game," catcher Brian McCann said. "He came through for us tonight."

Jesse Chavez (3-2) escaped a threat in the ninth. Billy Wagner got out of a two-on threat in the 10th, earning his 24th save in 29 chances by fanning Drew Stubbs for the final out.

The dramatic victory was typical for the Braves. They have won 17 games in their final at-bat, most in the majors.

Reds right fielder Chris Heisey prevented them from winning it an inning earlier. He jumped and stole a potential homer from pinch-hitter Brooks Conrad in the top of the ninth.

Joey Votto led the Reds with three hits, including an RBI double and a solo homer off left-hander Jonny Venters that tied it 4-all in the eighth. Votto leads the NL with 27 homers and a .326 average.

"You know how baseball momentum can work," Votto said. "We had it, then it came to a screeching halt. After I hit the home run and Chris made the catch, it looked like that gave us something to build on, but we didn't come through."

The NL East leaders opened the series hoping to get some traction and stop their slide. The Braves led the division by a season-high seven games on July 22, but went 2-4 while the second-place Phillies got hot, winning eight straight and closing the gap to 2½ games.

The Phillies also bolstered the pitching staff during their surge, trading for Oswalt. Washington roughed up Oswalt in his Phillies debut Friday night, allowing Atlanta to push the lead back to 3½.

Pitching hasn't been the Braves' biggest problem. Their offense went south, scoring a total of six runs in the last three games. Their top All-Star got it going. McCann, who won the All-Star game's MVP award for his bases-loaded double, hit a two-run homer off Johnny Cueto.

Braves starter Kris Medlen allowed three runs in five innings. He was hit on the inside of the right forearm to load the bases in the sixth. He stayed in the game to run the bases, then left for treatment because his hand was shaking. He doesn't expect to miss a start.

The Reds opened the day a half-game in front of St. Louis in the NL Central, which has a two-team race. Nobody else has a winning record in the division. Fans have started taking notice -- the crowd of 40,373 was only Cincinnati's fifth capacity crowd of the season.

"It was a playoff atmosphere," Medlen said. "If we win the East, it could be a [playoff] matchup for us."

  • The Braves traded 32-year-old minor league OF Mitch Jones to the Pirates for cash.
  • The Braves plan to designate OF Brent Clevlen to the minors on Saturday and call up OF Gregor Blanco .
  • Reds will honor Cox before Saturday's game. Cox is retiring after this season, his 29th as a manager.
  • Reds RHP Aaron Harang felt good two days after he threw off a mound for the first time since he went on the DL July 6 with back spasms.
Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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Jason Heyward watches as his double soars to the outfield and drives in the winning run. (AP)
Jason Heyward watches as his double soars to the outfield and drives in the winning run. (AP)

Players of the Game

J. Heyward
AB 6
R 0
H 3
HR 0

J. Votto
AB 5
R 2
H 3
HR 1

Related Video

Atlanta Braves
Martin Prado, 2B5211112 .315
    Billy Wagner, P0000000 .000
Jason Heyward, RF6032012 .275
Chipper Jones, 3B5121103 .254
Brian McCann, C5112035 .269
Troy Glaus, 1B5000001 .246
Eric Hinske, LF4010000 .279
    Takashi Saito, P0000000 .000
    Jonny Venters, P0000000 .000
   a- Brooks Conrad, PH1000000 .235
    Jesse Chavez, P0000000 .000
    Alex Gonzalez, SS0000000 .261
Omar Infante, SS-2B4120101 .333
Melky Cabrera, CF3110202 .265
Kris Medlen, P2010012 .192
    Peter Moylan, P0000000 .000
    Matt Diaz, LF2000011 .244
a-flied out for Venters in the 9th
2B - Jason Heyward 3 (19, Cueto, Rhodes, Cordero), Eric Hinske (19, Cueto), Melky Cabrera (18, Cueto)
HR - Brian McCann (14, Cueto)
RBI - Martin Prado (43), Jason Heyward 2 (50), Chipper Jones (42), Brian McCann 2 (53)
2-OUT RBI - Jason Heyward 2 (22)
SB - Melky Cabrera (5, 2nd base off Cordero/Hernandez)
Team LOB - 12
Atlanta Braves
Kris Medlen 5633140 3.66
Peter Moylan (H,16) 1000000 2.55
Takashi Saito (H,13) 1100000 3.46
Jonny Venters (BS,3) 1211011 1.23
Jesse Chavez (W,3-2) 1100010 5.89
Billy Wagner (S,24) 1100020 1.65
HBP - Gomes (by Billy Wagner)
Pitches-Strikes - Kris Medlen 82-53, Peter Moylan 14-8, Takashi Saito 30-20, Jonny Venters 11-7, Jesse Chavez 12-7, Billy Wagner 20-14
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kris Medlen 5-6, Peter Moylan 2-1, Takashi Saito 2-1, Jonny Venters 1-1, Jesse Chavez 1-1
Batters Faced - Kris Medlen 22, Peter Moylan 3, Takashi Saito 4, Jonny Venters 5, Jesse Chavez 4, Billy Wagner 5
Cincinnati Reds
Brandon Phillips, 2B5110001 .288
Orlando Cabrera, SS5111012 .259
    Jordan Smith, P0000000 .000
Joey Votto, 1B5232010 .326
Scott Rolen, 3B4031101 .300
Jonny Gomes, LF4000013 .270
Jay Bruce, RF4000032 .260
    Francisco Cordero, P0000000 .000
    Paul Janish, SS0000000 .270
   a- Miguel Cairo, PH1000002 .301
Drew Stubbs, CF5000024 .232
Ramon Hernandez, C4010000 .288
Johnny Cueto, P2000001 .135
    Bill Bray, P0000000 .000
    Logan Ondrusek, P0000000 .000
   b- Laynce Nix, PH1010000 .273
    Nick Masset, P0000000 .000
    Arthur Rhodes, P0000000 .000
    Chris Heisey, RF1010000 .286
a-flied out for Janish in the 10th
b-singled for Ondrusek in the 7th
2B - Joey Votto (18, Medlen), Scott Rolen 2 (20, Venters, Wagner)
HR - Joey Votto (27, Venters)
RBI - Orlando Cabrera (37), Joey Votto 2 (72), Scott Rolen (61)
2-OUT RBI - Orlando Cabrera (14), Joey Votto (28), Scott Rolen (22)
Team LOB - 9
Cincinnati Reds
Johnny Cueto 5.11044131 3.32
Bill Bray 0.2000110 5.40
Logan Ondrusek 1000100 3.38
Nick Masset 0.2000010 4.40
Arthur Rhodes 0.2100010 1.54
Francisco Cordero (L,3-4) 1.1122210 4.02
Jordan Smith 0.1000000 2.66
IBB - Cabrera by Johnny Cueto
HBP - Medlen (by Johnny Cueto)
Pitches-Strikes - Johnny Cueto 104-64, Bill Bray 14-7, Logan Ondrusek 15-8, Nick Masset 6-4, Arthur Rhodes 18-13, Francisco Cordero 35-20, Jordan Smith 3-3
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Johnny Cueto 8-5, Bill Bray 1-0, Logan Ondrusek 3-0, Arthur Rhodes 1-0, Francisco Cordero 2-1, Jordan Smith 1-0
Batters Faced - Johnny Cueto 28, Bill Bray 3, Logan Ondrusek 4, Nick Masset 2, Arthur Rhodes 3, Francisco Cordero 7, Jordan Smith 1
Game Information
Attendance - 40373
Game Time - 3:46
Temperature - 78
Umpires - Home - Bob Davidson, First Base - Angel Campos, Second Base - Alfonso Marquez, Third Base - Tim Timmons