Cincinnati, OH – Devin Mesoraco and Shin-Soo Choo hit back- to-back solo home runs in the bottom of the ninth inning as the Cincinnati Reds edged the Atlanta Braves, 5-4, in the middle test of a three-game series.
With two outs and Craig Kimbrel (0-1) pitching, Mesoraco connected on a 3-2 pitch to tie the game. Choo followed that up with his second home run of the night to give the Reds an unexpected win.
The victory gave Cincy skipper Dusty Baker his 1,600th career win.
"That's exciting. That's why you play nine and play all the outs," said Baker. "You never really know. We beat one of the best closers in the game today."
Donald Lutz and Brandon Phillips each drove in one run for the Reds. Starter Homer Bailey had seven strikeouts but surrendered four runs on five hits and four walks over five innings. Jonathan Broxton (1-1) pitched a perfect top of the ninth to earn the win.
Brian McCann drove in two runs while Dan Uggla and Freddie Freeman had an RBI apiece for the Braves, who were looking to win their first series against the Reds on the road since April 24-26, 2009.
Braves starter Kris Medlen allowed two runs on four hits and two walks over seven innings to earn a no-decision.
"When you don't add on in this ballpark against that club that's pretty good and has got the history here at their ballpark, you don't add runs," said Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez. "We didn't score after the fifth. You got to get yourself in those situations."
Bailey struggled out of the gate, allowing a double by Andrelton Simmons to start the game and walking Justin Upton and Freddie Freeman with one out. After fanning Evan Gattis, he gave up back-to-back singles by McCann and Uggla, with McCann scoring Simmons and Upton and Uggla plating Freeman.
Choo got the Reds on the board in the third with a two-out solo shot.
B.J. Upton singled to lead off the fifth and two batters later, Freeman hit a liner to left, brnging Upton home for a 4-1 game.
Lutz responded for the Reds in the home half. Jack Hannahan walked and Corky Miller singled with one down, then Lutz, stepping in for Bailey, delivered an RBI single.
Brandon Phillips hit a sacrifice fly in the eighth, plating Zack Cosart. However, with runners on the corners and two out, Todd Frazier struck out swinging to end the frame.
Three Reds relievers did not allow a hit over the final four innings.
Reds first baseman Joey Votto was 2-for-4, extending his hit streak to 10 games ... The Reds were 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position ... Bailey has not won since his season debut on April 5 ... Medlen has not won since April 9 ... Cincinnati improved to 13-5 at home ... The Braves have lost eight of their last 12 games.