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Despite ninth-inning comeback, Braves drop another game to Reds, 9-7

The Braves scored four runs in the ninth to extend the game, but ultimately fell in extra innings thanks to a walk-off home run from Scooter Gennett.

MLB: Atlanta Braves at Cincinnati Reds David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

For the first time this season, the Cincinnati Reds have won two consecutive games. Tyler Mahle had a no-hitter going into the seventh and while the Reds coughed up a commanding lead, the Braves were unable to fully complete the comeback as they ended up losing 9-7 via walk-off homer in the 12th inning.

The second inning was a strong one for Cincy, which is when they dinked-and-dunked their way into putting up three runs on the board in this frame. The inning got away from Brandon McCarthy and he ended up in a bases-loaded situation with just one out. With the pitcher and Billy Hamilton coming up, it seemed like this was a prime opportunity for the Braves to escape, but it wasn’t meant to be.

McCarthy had a chance to at least wipe out the lead runner at home, but Kurt Suzuki lifted off of the plate while receiving the catch and Freddie Freeman was credited with an error and the Reds ended up getting a run for free.

Then Billy Hamilton hit a dribbler to McCarthy’s right-hand side. For most players, that’s an easy out. Even though Hamilton’s hitting stats are awful as of late, if he hits a ball in that area then he’s dangerous and sure enough, his speed forced McCarthy into rushing to make the play and Hamilton beat the throw to first for an infield single and the second run of the game.

Jesse Winker hit a sacrifice fly to make it 3-0 and the Braves were actually quite fortunate to escape that inning down only three. It did get worse for Atlanta before it got better, though.

For six innings, the Brave showed absolutely no life at the plate as they fell victim to Tyler Mahle seemingly living up to all of his potential as a prospect on this particular night in Cincinnati. During those first six innings, Atlanta had absolutely no answer for what Mahle was dealing to them as he accumulated a career-high 11 strikeouts while also limiting the Braves to zero hits during that span. The only offense that the Braves were able to generate during that time was two walks from Nick Markakis. Other than that, Mahle was putting zeroes on the scoreboard at an alarming rate.

Meanwhile, Brandon McCarthy’s night ended after just 67 pitches, but not before he gave up back-to-back home runs to Joey Votto and Scooter Gennett to make it 5-0 Cincinnati at this point. McCarthy probably could have gone much longer on a different night, but Brian Snitker felt that he needed to get the offense going, so McCarthy was pinch hit for in the bottom of the fifth and that’s how his night ended.

Going into the seventh, all hope was seemingly lost and it sure seemed like the Braves were about to end up being the victims of a historic night at the hands of Tyler Mahle but Freddie Freeman was fed up with this nonsense and decided that he’d try to hit one as far as he possibly could. Once the ball finally left orbit, the Braves were on the board and the no-no was officially a thing of the past.

Nick Markakis followed that with a double and then Kurt Suzuki hit a dinger of his own. In about three minutes, the Braves went from being no-hit to being right in the thick of things down by only two runs and that was the end of the night for Tyler Mahle, thankfully.

Unfortunately, the Braves ended up giving two of those runs back in the very next frame. A.J. Minter entered the game and while he didn’t give up a leadoff walk, he one-up’d that by giving up a leadoff double to Jesse Winker. Phillip Ervin entered the game as a pinch-runner and he ended up scoring from third base thanks to a surprise sacrifice bunt from Scooter Gennett, of all people. The inning could have gotten worse after Tucker Barnhart hit one up the middle, but Ozzie Albies was able to knock that ball down and catch the runner at third straying too far away from the base to end the inning with just a four-run lead.

That ended up being imperative as the Braves ended up mounting a comeback in the top of the ninth inning. It all started with Freddie Freeman leading off the 9th by hitting his second majestic home run of the evening.

That ended up being the linchpin for a four-run rally as Kurt Suzuki and Preston Tucker singled and doubled, respectively to run Amir Garrett from the game in order to bring in Raisel Iglesias. Iglesias didn’t fare much better — he walked two batters and ended up conceding the tying runs on a single from Ender Inciarte that Scooter Gennett couldn’t field cleanly.

Unfortunately, Ozzie Albies had some hard luck on a bullet that seemed destined to roll into right field but at that point, us beggars couldn’t be too greedy after the Braves had managed to extend the game into the bottom of the ninth.

In fact, the game ended up going into the 12th inning as both teams ended up going scoreless until the bottom of the 12th, which is when Max Fried entered the game for the Braves in relief. Instead of bucking the trend that we’ve seen from numerous Braves relievers, he fell right in line by walking the leadoff runner. Scooter Gennett then came to bat and hit a looping curveball that was down and in the zone directly into the seats in right field for a walk-off dinger.

Despite the fact that the Braves showed plenty of determination by extending the game, it’s still bad that they ended up being the first team to lose consecutive games to the Reds this season. They now have two games to salvage this series before things get embarrassing for them.

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