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Freeman's HR caps Braves' rallies vs. Crew

MLB.com

MILWAUKEE -- Freddie Freeman's two-run homer in the ninth gave the Braves a 10-8 victory over the Brewers after Atlanta overcame a pair of four-run deficits on Friday night at Miller Park.

The Braves trailed 4-0 after two innings and 8-4 after the sixth, but battled back to tie the game on Kurt Suzuki's pinch-hit single in the eighth inning before winning on Freeman's eighth home run in the ninth. Freeman was 0-for-4 on the night before he connected with a Neftali Feliz fastball and lined it 106 mph off the bat, according to Statcast™, to center field.

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MILWAUKEE -- Freddie Freeman's two-run homer in the ninth gave the Braves a 10-8 victory over the Brewers after Atlanta overcame a pair of four-run deficits on Friday night at Miller Park.

The Braves trailed 4-0 after two innings and 8-4 after the sixth, but battled back to tie the game on Kurt Suzuki's pinch-hit single in the eighth inning before winning on Freeman's eighth home run in the ninth. Freeman was 0-for-4 on the night before he connected with a Neftali Feliz fastball and lined it 106 mph off the bat, according to Statcast™, to center field.

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Video: ATL@MIL: Suzuki plates Teheran with game-tying single

"I was just thankful to get another opportunity," Freeman said. "I was pretty terrible for the first eight innings. Usually, when you are feeling bad at the plate and missing opportunities, you want another one just to redeem yourself." 

Before Friday, the biggest deficit overcome by the Braves in a victory this season was two runs. 

"It says a lot about these guys and the way they are," Braves manager Brian Snitker said. "They've been doing that for the almost year that I've been here. That's good to see. Guys had good at-bats, and the bullpen did a good job with the exception of the homer."

Video: ATL@MIL: Santana belts a pinch-hit two-run home run

Orlando Arcia and Ryan Braun hit home runs off Bartolo Colon, and Domingo Santana homered off the bench for the Brewers, who have hit multiple home runs in 14 of their first 24 games, including eight games with three or more homers to lead the Major Leagues in both categories. Milwaukee also leads MLB with 43 homers.

Video: ATL@MIL: Braun hammers a two-run homer to left-center

Braun quietly setting up for career season

The Brewers also lead MLB with eight relief losses, despite entering this series in the top 10 in relief ERA.

"They kept coming," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said of the Braves. "Going down four, they kept at it, they kept putting tough at-bats on us. Give them some credit."

Battling Braves believe in second chances

Video: ATL@MIL: Johnson induces grounder to earn the save

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
All square: The Brewers jumped to a 4-0 lead with a second-inning rally capped by Arcia's opposite-field, three-run home run, but the advantage didn't last long. The Braves struck right back with four runs of their own, the final three scoring on Matt Kemp's two-out, bases-clearing double off Brewers starter Chase Anderson.

Video: ATL@MIL: Kemp clears the bases with a two-out double

It was almost a five-run inning, but Brewers second baseman Jonathan Villar managed to glove Nick Markakis' one-hop rocket to Villar's backhand side, and threw to first for the final out of the frame.

Video: ATL@MIL: Villar flashes the leather for nifty out

"Chase has got off to a great start, but we faced him last year," Freeman said. "We had a game plan that he pitches off that changeup. He kept us down. We got that big inning off of him, but he didn't make many mistakes tonight."

All square, again: The Brewers pulled ahead again with two-run homers from Braun and Santana and handed an 8-4 lead to reliever Jacob Barnes, who had not surrendered a run in his first 12 appearances this season. The Braves scored three times in that inning before Corey Knebel doused the rally, then, after Counsell opted for Carlos Torres over returning Knebel to the mound for the eighth, scored again to tie the game at 8 on Suzuki's two-out single.

Video: ATL@MIL: Inciarte plates a pair with a double

"We had the game set up good," Counsell said. "We were up, 8-4, going into the seventh and had Jacob Barnes throwing. We'll take that every night. This was a scripted game, really. It just didn't work out." 

Before Friday, Barnes was one of five Major League relievers to log at least 10 innings without being scored upon. 

Video: ATL@MIL: Garcia sends home Inciarte with a single

"Obviously, you never want to give up runs," said Barnes. "I knew at some point it was going to happen. Ideally it was not going to happen in this kind of situation, in this kind of game. … If you miss your spot just a little bit, [the Braves] are good at fighting it off or just poking it the other way, wherever the pitch is located. They're just kind of small-ball, and occasionally they'll hit a home run or whatever. But they're good at just battling."

Video: ATL@MIL: Adams gets first MLB hit, steal vs. Brewers

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Counsell is one of seven current Major League managers who batted against Colon, a list that also includes the Yankees' Joe Girardi, the Tigers' Brad Ausmus, the Twins' Paul Molitor, the Astros' A.J. Hinch, the Cardinals' Mike Matheny and the Dodgers' Dave Roberts. Of that group, only Counsell and Hinch homered off Colon -- Counsell's in June 2006, when he was with the D-backs and Colon was the reigning American League Cy Young Award winner with the Angels.

"Unfortunately, I don't remember that," Counsell said. "Which is sad, because I've had more birthdays than home runs."

Video: ATL@MIL: Counsell discusses late blown lead to Braves

WHAT'S NEXT
Braves: Jaime Garcia will look to continue his dominance of the Brewers when he takes the mound for a 7:10 p.m. ET game on Saturday. The left-hander is 11-6 with a 2.88 ERA in 21 outings (20 starts) against Milwaukee in his career.

Brewers: Jimmy Nelson takes the mound for Milwaukee at 6:10 CT, aiming to go back above .500 for his season. The Brewers are 2-2 in games started by Nelson, who has limited Atlanta to three runs over 11 2/3 innings in two previous starts.

Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.

Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Andrew Gruman is a contributor to MLB.com based in Milwaukee and covered the Braves on Friday.

Chase Anderson, Orlando Arcia, Ryan Braun, Bartolo Colon, Freddie Freeman, Ender Inciarte, Matt Kemp, Domingo Santana