Freddie Freeman hit the first cycle of the 2016 season on Wednesday night, and Chase d’Arnaud sealed the win with a walk-off single in the bottom of the 13th inning to help the Braves outlast the Reds, 9-8, at Turner Field.
The Braves jumped on Reds starter Anthony DeSclafani early, taking a 1-0 lead in the first before adding three unearned runs in the third. The right-hander labored through his second start of the season, throwing 76 pitches in just 2 2/3 innings.
Bud Norris, meanwhile, didn’t surrender a hit until Brandon Phillips registered a single during the Reds’ three-run fourth. The right-hander ultimately allowed three hits and three runs while issuing two walks and striking out seven batters over five innings. Since returning to Atlanta’s starting rotation on June 4, Norris has posted a 2.65 ERA over three starts.
The Braves’ bullpen couldn’t back up Norris, however, as Casey Kelly entered the game in the sixth and surrendered three more to hand the Reds a 6-5 lead, but Freeman’s home run in the bottom of the frame tied the game at 6.
Neither team managed to break the tie over the next six innings, until Reds shortstop Jose Peraza drew a bases-loaded walk in the top of the 13th. Joey Votto gave Cincinnati a two-run cushion with an RBI single in the ensuing at-bat, but an RBI double by Jace Peterson and an RBI single by Tyler Flowers in the bottom of the frame set the stage for the Braves’ second walk-off win of the season.
The Braves chased DeSclafani with three runs in the bottom of the third inning. With the bases loaded and one out, Peterson hit a grounder to first that allowed Freeman to score on Votto’s errant throw home. One out later, Erick Aybar cracked a two-run double to center to give the Braves a 4-0 lead. DeSclafani was lifted after walking the next batter, Norris.
Breaking through: Leading off the top of the sixth, Phillips made his way to second on a single and a throwing error by Adonis Garcia. The Reds capitalized on the mistake, as Jay Bruce singled to bring in Phillips and cut the Braves’ lead to 5-4. After Adam Duvall doubled, Ivan De Jesus Jr. gave the Reds their first lead on a two-run single, picking up his second and third RBIs of the game