Braves rally from four runs down, Freeman’s ninth-inning homer leads to 10-8 win over Milwaukee
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Freddie Freeman was frustrated after having four hitless at-bats Friday night.
Thankfully for the Atlanta Braves, he had a fifth chance and made the most of it.
Freeman’s two-run home run snapped a tie in the ninth and the Braves rallied from a four-run deficit in the final three innings to beat the Milwaukee Brewers 10-8 on Friday night.
“I was just thankful to get another opportunity,” Freeman said. “I was pretty terrible the first eight innings.
“Usually when you are feeling bad at the plate and missing opportunities you want another one just to redeem yourself,” he said.
Freeman hit his eighth homer off Brewers closer Neftali Feliz (0-3), who was summoned to pitch the ninth in a tie game. Adonis Garcia led off the inning with a double and Freeman hit a 1-1 pitch over the wall in center field.
“That’s the guy we want up there, (and) that’s the reason why,” Atlanta manager Brian Snitker said.
Jose Ramirez (1-1) pitched a perfect eighth and Jim Johnson worked the ninth for his fourth save in six chances.
Atlanta trailed 8-4 after six innings but scored six runs in the final three innings against Milwaukee’s bullpen.
The Brewers’ Jacob Barnes, who had not allowed a run in 12 1/3 innings this season, gave up three runs in the seventh to spark the Atlanta comeback.
“They had good at-bats against all of us,” Barnes said. “They made us work a little bit. They were able to find holes with not the hardest hit balls.”
The Braves scored another run in the eighth to tie the score.
“We had the game set up good,” Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell said. “We were up 8-4 going into the seventh and had Jacob Barnes throwing. We’ll take that every night.”
Ryan Braun, Orlando Arcia and Domingo Santana all homered for Milwaukee. Arcia hit a three-run homer in the second, his third. Braun hit a two-run shot in the fifth, his seventh, and Santana snapped a 1-for-26 slump with a two-run pinch-hit homer in the sixth, his third.
Braun and Hernan Perez both had three hits for Milwaukee.
Ender Inciarte and Matt Kemp had three RBIs each for Atlanta.
Feliz was signed by Milwaukee during the offseason to be its closer and has converted five of six save chances, but has a 6.52 ERA in 9 2/3 innings.
Milwaukee starter Chase Anderson allowed four runs and four hits in six innings. He received his third no-decision to go with a 2-0 record despite a 2.10 ERA.
Atlanta starter Bartolo Colon gave up six runs and 10 hits in five innings. The 43-year-old has a 5.59 ERA in five starts.
Jason Motte, who led the National League with 42 saves for the St. Louis Cardinals in 2012, had a rough debut for the Braves after being recalled from the minor leagues on Thursday. Arcia greeted him with a leadoff double in the sixth and Santana followed with his third home run.
STARE IT DOWN
Anderson and Jonathan Villar hit consecutive comeback grounders to Colon in the fourth. The veteran right-hander grabbed the ball out of his glove each time and purposely glared at it before throwing to first for an out.
Eric Thames, who leads the majors with 11 home runs, was in the starting lineup after leaving Wednesday’s game with left hamstring tightness. He was 1 for 4 with a single and a walk.
Braves: 2B Brandon Phillips was out of the starting lineup for the second consecutive game with a groin strain, but was available to pinch it. Snitker said he hoped to have Phillips back in the lineup on Saturday. … Snitker said there was no indication that RHP R.A. Dickey, who left after five innings Thursday with a left quadriceps spasm, would miss a start. … RHP Mauricio Cabrera, on the DL with elbow soreness, will pitch two innings Saturday at Class A Florida. Snitker said Cabrera is then scheduled to pitch at Triple-A Gwinnett on Tuesday.
Brewers: Counsell said RHP Junior Guerra, who suffered a strained right calf on Opening Day, is making progress. “It’s all been positive,” he said. “He keeps taking the next step.” Guerra is throwing bullpen sessions every three days.
Braves: LHP Jaime Garcia, who has given up only four runs in 12 1/3 innings over his last two starts, goes for Atlanta on Saturday.
Brewers: RHP Jimmy Nelson has two consecutive losses, giving up 10 earned runs in 10 2/3 innings, and starts in Game 2 of the series.
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