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Braves win challenge on play at second base

Simmons ruled safe after call overturned in fourth inning

ATLANTA -- Andrelton Simmons was determined to reach second base, and he ultimately did courtesy of Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez's successful challenge during Tuesday's 5-0 win over the Brewers.

After hitting a single that caromed off of second base and traveled to left field during Tuesday's fourth inning, Simmons took a wide turn around first base. He then took off for second when Brewers second baseman Scooter Gennett got the ball and casually threw it to third baseman Jeff Bianchi.

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Bianchi's throw to shortstop Jean Segura beat Simmons to the bag. But Simmons pulled his left arm back in time to avoid the tag while reaching with his right arm to touch the base. Gonzalez challenged second-base umpire Fieldin Culbreth's ruling that Simmons was out, and the call was overturned after two minutes and 15 seconds.

"I couldn't tell," Gonzalez said. "I knew it was bang-bang. It's hard when you have a tag and the arm is going one way and the tag is going the other. I think from what I saw, they got the play right. That's the goal."

Simmons playfully said he drew inspiration from the flexible maneuvering Jason Heyward had displayed to avoid Giants catcher Buster Posey's tag during a May 13 win in San Francisco.

"I watched J-Hey's video a couple times," Simmons said. "Just throw the body over here and twist it over there. I just tried to stay away from his glove. After I got my hand in there, I just tried to stay on the bag. Somehow, I did that. I wasn't sure I didn't come off the bag. But as soon as I saw I didn't come off the bag, I knew I was safe."

The call put runners on second and third with none out in the fourth. Two batters later, the Braves scored another run after an error by Gennett to take a 4-0 lead. Gonzalez has now been successful with six of the seven challenges he has used this year.

Mark Bowman is a reporter for

Milwaukee Brewers, Atlanta Braves, Andrelton Simmons