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Johnson's gutsy performance seals victory

Reliever throws two scoreless innings a day after blown save
MLB.com @mlbbowman

CINCINNATI -- Given an opportunity to atone for the blown save he had suffered less than 24 hours earlier, Jim Johnson gladly accepted the rare opportunity to make a multi-inning appearance and help the Braves complete Saturday's 6-5, 12-inning win over the Reds at Great American Ball Park.  

"It's the ups and downs of the bullpen life," Johnson said. "You've got to have a short memory and do what you can to do better the next day."  

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CINCINNATI -- Given an opportunity to atone for the blown save he had suffered less than 24 hours earlier, Jim Johnson gladly accepted the rare opportunity to make a multi-inning appearance and help the Braves complete Saturday's 6-5, 12-inning win over the Reds at Great American Ball Park.  

"It's the ups and downs of the bullpen life," Johnson said. "You've got to have a short memory and do what you can to do better the next day."  

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During Friday night's 10-inning loss to the Reds, Johnson squandered a two-run, ninth-inning lead. The veteran closer surrendered a pair of doubles and then positioned himself to escape with a save before uncorking a two-out wild pitch that eluded catcher Tyler Flowers.

Still, after Matt Adams completed his two-homer performance on Saturday with a go-ahead solo homer in the top of the 12th inning, there was no question the Braves were going to keep the ball in the hands of Johnson, who had stranded a pair of runners during a scoreless 11th inning.  

"If we didn't score, he wasn't going back out there [for a second inning]," Braves manager Brian Snitker said. "He said he was good to go, so that was good."  

Johnson completed this scoreless two-inning appearance with a perfect 12th inning. The assignment was similar to the one he completed while holding the Mets scoreless over the final two frames of the Braves' 12-inning win at Citi Field on April 5.

Since joining the Braves at the start of the 2015 season, Johnson has made just six two-inning appearances. But throughout his career, which included a long stint in the American League, where it's more common for relievers to be given this responsibility, he has thrived in multi-inning appearances.  

Johnson has made 55 career appearances that have consisted of at least two innings. He has produced a dazzling 1.10 ERA while logging 114 2/3 innings within these games. Although a reliever often won't have the chance to complete two full innings if they give up some runs, the numbers are still impressive.  

"I'm so proud of him and thankful he had a good outing today," Braves starting pitcher R.A. Dickey said. "It was really gutsy. That's the adjective I'd use to describe that. He pitched an inning yesterday and threw two more today. You weren't going to take him out of that game today. It was a great win, much needed."  

Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001.

Atlanta Braves, Jim Johnson