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Jason Heyward's big night keys offense as Braves hold on for 4-3 win

Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

The Royals tried to ruin what was set up to be a happy ending of Atlanta's first game in Kansas City, but Craig Kimbrel escaped a jam in the ninth with two strikeouts and a pop up to the offensive player of the game Jason Heyward to record his 22nd save of the season and close out Atlanta's 4-3 win.

A walk to Mike Moustakas and a single by David Lough put runners on first and third with none out in the ninth, but Kimbrel fanned Elliot Johnson and got Jarrod Dyson looking before getting Alcides Escobar to pop out two batters later for the third out.

Heyward's catch ended the game, but it was his performance at the plate that put the Braves in the situation to win. Down 1-0 in the fifth after Billy Butler's first inning single off of Kris Medlen plated Eric Hosmer, Atlanta got a rally going against Ervin Santana.

Chris Johnson led off with a double and advanced on a single from Andrelton Simmons to put runners on first and third. The Braves attempted to bunt with Simmons, but luckily, he couldn't pull it off before getting the hit with two strikes. Jordan Schafer followed with a double to right field that plated Johnson and tied the game at one. Heyward followed with a double to right of his own, bringing home Simmons and Schafer to give the Braves a 3-1 lead.

Medlen promptly gave that lead up in the bottom of the frame as Hosmer crushed a high fastball to right field for a two-run homer that tied the game at three.

Left-hander Tim Collins came on to pitch the seventh; recording one out before Heyward turned on Collins' big breaking ball and launched it into the right field stands for a solo homer that put Atlanta up 4-3. It was the first home run allowed by Collins on the season, and Heyward's first home run against a left-handed pitcher since September 7th of last season.

Medlen left after the seventh inning, finishing with a line of 7 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, and 5 K. Jordan Walden worked around a hit, errant pick-off attempt and a stolen base to tally a scoreless eighth inning to set the stage for Kimbrel.

Source: FanGraphs

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