CINCINNATI -- For the second straight day, the Braves and Reds battled it out in extra innings. But unlike Friday night, Atlanta got the upper hand Saturday at Great American Ball Park, as Matt Adams' solo home run in the top of the 12th -- his second homer on the
CINCINNATI -- For the second straight day, the Braves and Reds battled it out in extra innings. But unlike Friday night, Atlanta got the upper hand Saturday at Great American Ball Park, as Matt Adams' solo home run in the top of the 12th -- his second homer on the day -- gave the Braves a 6-5 win and evened the series.
Adams had been batting .222 since he was traded from the Cardinals to Atlanta on May 20 and had a .100 average in his previous five games before a 3-for-6, two-homer, five-RBI performance Saturday. One of the homers was a grand slam.
Grand slams mean 40% off pizza
The Braves held a 5-1 advantage heading into the bottom of the sixth, but watched that lead quickly evaporate as the Reds strung together six solid at-bats. A Jose Peraza hit-by-pitch, Devin Mesoraco single and Patrick Kivlehan walk set up a bases-loaded scenario for Arismendy Alcantara -- who had replaced Billy Hamilton in center in the previous half inning. Alcantara singled in a run. Then Zack Cozart walked to bring in another. And finally Joey Votto lifted a two-run single into shallow center to tie the game.
"We kind of gave that sixth inning away," Braves starting pitcher R.A. Dickey said. "That had no business working out like that. It was great to see our guys fight and fight and fight. They pushed back, and we held our ground and ended up getting the big hit when we had to. It was a testament to fortitude today for a lot of guys."
The rally chased Dickey, whose only blemish to that point had been a solo home run in the bottom of the fourth by former Braves top prospect Peraza. The right-hander -- who was one of three Atlanta pitchers to give up 20 runs or more in the month of May -- lasted 5 1/3 innings while giving up six hits and five earned runs.
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"I feel like all through the lineup we go up there and try to have quality at-bats, and then all of a sudden you string a couple runs here, couple runs there and you're back in the game," said Cozart. "It's a good sign when you don't just give up and try to get through nine innings and lose 5-1. You battle back, and you never know what can happen."
Cincinnati's push to tie the game also saved starter Scott Feldman from picking up the loss, which would have been his first since May 19. Atlanta pushed across five runs against the Reds' righty on the day -- four of which came on the grand slam by Adams in the top of the fifth.
After tying the game in the sixth, Reds relievers pitched seven innings of three-hit baseball. But Cincinnati's offense couldn't capitalize late, finishing the game 3-for-17 with RISP and stranding 15 baserunners. They left runners in scoring position in the ninth, 10th and 11th innings.
"You get guys in scoring position, you always want to come up with the hit that wins the game," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "But Atlanta's trying to win, too. And they made some plays and they made some pitches … And we did a pretty good job in some tough situations as well, and it just came down to that solo homer giving them the lead and not being able to do anything with [Braves reliever] Jim Johnson in that last inning."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Adams' grand slam: After Brandon Phillips reached on an error, Nick Markakis walked and Matt Kemp singled to left in the top of the fifth, Adams stepped to the dish with the bases loaded and one out. On a 2-1 pitch from Feldman, he launched the ball over the wall in center field for a grand slam -- the first of his career and the Braves' first since May 16, 2015 -- to give Atlanta a 4-1 lead. The slam left Adams' bat at 106.4 mph and traveled 426 feet, according to Statcast™.
"This is just a park where I see the ball well," Adams said. "That helps, too, with the confidence. When you're in the box, you're feeling comfortable and knowing you're going to see the ball well. They've got a tough pitching staff. I was just trying to get a ball out over the plate and put some barrels on some balls."
Reds' big sixth: After falling behind 5-1 an inning earlier, Cincinnati climbed all the way back to tie the game in the bottom of the sixth. After Scooter Gennett flied out to right to begin the frame, six straight Reds reached base. The fifth -- first baseman Joey Votto -- hit a bloop single to center to score two runs and knot things at 5.
"The other part is playing extra innings and emptying out the bullpen the last few days. We've used our primary guys -- we have some length guys left -- but our primary guys have pitched the last couple days. And so there could be some limits on what we have available for us tomorrow in that regard." -- Price, on the status of his bullpen heading into the final game of the series.
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Ender Inciarte made his Major League-leading fifth five-star catch when he raced into right-center field to rob Eugenio Suarez of a hit to end the fifth inning. The Braves' Gold Glove center fielder ran 84 feet with an impressive sprint speed of 28.8 feet/second to catch the fly ball, which had a catch probability of 18 percent. His 10 five-star catches last year tied Adam Eaton for the most in the Majors.
UPON FURTHER REVIEW
In the top of the fifth, Dansby Swanson singled to center and Kurt Suzuki tried to go to third after Hamilton bobbled the ball. Hamilton's throw and Suzuki arrived almost simultaneously to third base, and the Braves catcher was called safe. After a video replay review, the call stood and Suzuki stayed at third.
With one on in the bottom of the sixth, Mesoraco grounded a ball to short. Swanson fielded the ball and threw it to Phillips at second to try and get the force out, but the umpire ruled that Phillips was off the bag when he caught the ball. After a video replay review, the call stood. The umpires told Braves manger Brian Snitker they could not provide an explanation because the only thing relayed back to them from the replay center is the decision.
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"That's terrible," Snitker said. "He's all over the base. We saw it on the big screen on the field. I just went and looked at it right now. I can see in [real time] why the umpire called that, but this whole [replay] system is designed to correct that and it didn't."
To lead off the top of the eighth, Braves pinch-hitter Danny Santana slapped a grounder to Votto, who flipped to Reds reliever Michael Lorenzen at first to try to get the force out. Santana dived head-first to try to beat out the play, but was ruled out. After a video replay review, the call was confirmed.
Braves:Julio Teheran will take the mound when Atlanta plays the finale of this three-game series Sunday at 1:10 p.m. ET. Teheran has produced a 1.42 ERA over five road starts.
Reds:Amir Garrett (3-3, 6.00 ERA) returns to the rotation after a brief stint on the DL with right hip inflammation. He said the injury bothered him considerably during his last start, which would explain his rough outing (5 IP, 7 H, 7 ER, 4 HR) in a no-decision against the Indians on May 23.
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Jeremy Vernon is a reporter for MLB.com and covered the Reds on Saturday.
Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001.