Guillermo Heredia homered and made a spectacular catch late while Drew Smyly continued his June resurgence with six solid innings as the visiting Atlanta Braves held on to beat the Cincinnati Reds, 3-2, Friday night.
Dansby Swanson added a solo homer for the Braves, who evened the four-game weekend series in Cincinnati and their record on their eight-game road trip at 3-3.
Smyly (5-3) won his third straight start, allowing just one run and six hits, and now has a 3-0 mark with a 3.16 ERA over five June starts. Will Smith pitched around a two-out Kyle Farmer double in the ninth for his 16th save.
Ronald Acuna Jr., making his return from a two-game hiatus due to a sore back, factored in the first run of the night. He walked with two outs in the fifth and stole second. He then scored easily when Freddie Freeman ripped his second double of the night to straightaway center, marking the 900th RBI of Freeman’s career.
The Braves took a 2-0 lead in the sixth when Swanson lined a first-pitch fastball from Vladimir Gutierrez (3-2) to the second row of seats in right-center for his 13th homer of the season.
Jonathan India sparked a rally in the sixth when he singled, advanced to second on a fly out, stole third and scored on a two-out double from Tyler Stephenson, cutting the Atlanta lead to 2-1.
Atlanta got the run right back in the seventh when Heredia lined a Gutierrez fastball over the wall in center for his fourth homer of the season and a 3-1 Braves lead.
Smyly’s replacement, Luke Jackson, opened the seventh by serving up the 16th homer of the season for Suarez, cutting Atlanta’s lead back to one, 3-2.
Jesse Winker opened the eighth against reliever A.J. Minter by drilling a deep drive to straightaway center. Hereda, in full stride, reached up at the last moment and caught the ball on the warning track before crashing full speed into the wall. He was on the ground for several minutes receiving treatment from trainers before staying in the game.
The play was critical as Castellanos and Stephenson followed with singles before Votto grounded into a 4-6-3 inning-ending double play.
–Field Level Media