CINCINNATI -- Because he takes great pride in being an elite defensive player, Ender Inciarte will not soon forget his botched attempt to make a diving grab of a liner that added to Julio Teheran's struggles on Sunday afternoon at Great American Ball Park.But the Braves' Gold Glove center fielder
CINCINNATI -- Because he takes great pride in being an elite defensive player, Ender Inciarte will not soon forget his botched attempt to make a diving grab of a liner that added to Julio Teheran's struggles on Sunday afternoon at Great American Ball Park.
But the Braves' Gold Glove center fielder certainly atoned, as he matched a career-best five hits, delivered a key three-run home run and added a 4-star catch to his highlight portfolio while helping the Braves claim a 13-8 win over the Reds.
"I feel like today wasn't a perfect day, because I didn't catch that line drive," Inciarte said after going 5-for-5 and becoming just the eight different player in Atlanta Braves history to record both five hits and five RBIs in a game.
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After producing singles that positioned him to score during both of the first two innings, Inciarte capped a five-run third inning against Amir Garrett with a three-run home run that traveled a projected 405 feet into the right-center-field seats. He has now matched his career-best homer total with six and this latest roundtripper was the second-longest he has hit during the Statcast™ era.
"When you have a game like this, it of course feels good," Inciarte said. "But you try not to think about it because tomorrow is a new day and tomorrow, you shouldn't even be thinking about what happened today."
It's safe to say Inciarte didn't allow the 0-for-6 performance he had in Saturday's 12-inning win affect him in this series finale. Nor did he allow the rare defensive miscue he committed on Sunday influence what he did over the final five innings.
With two outs in the bottom of the fourth inning, Zack Cozart hit a sinking line drive to center field that had a catch probability of 75 percent, making it a 3-star play. The Braves' Gold Glove center fielder has successfully caught 31 of the 33 balls that fit within 3-star range (anything with a catch probability between 51-75 percent) since the start of last year. But as he dove for this ball it eluded him and resulted in a two-run triple against Teheran, who allowed seven earned runs over five innings.
"I normally make those plays," Inciarte said. "It feels bad to not make it in that situation, especially when Julio is having a rough inning right there. But that ball for me, it was not like a knuckleball. It moved too much at the end. Off the bat, I thought it was going to be a tough play."
Inciarte made his MLB-leading fifth 5-star play (catch probability between 0-25 percent) during Saturday's win. He added his latest defensive gem during Sunday's eighth inning, when he raced to right-center field to grab a Jose Peraza fly ball that had a catch probability of 44 percent, making it a 4-star play.
"He was just being aggressive and trying to make a play [during the fourth inning]," Braves manager Brian Snitker said. "It didn't happen, but then you see him go way far into [both alleys] to make catches. That's why he's wearing that gold."
Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001.