Atlanta, GA – Freddie Freeman smacked a game-winning single with two outs in the bottom of the 10th inning to send the Atlanta Braves to their fifth straight victory with a 5-4 decision over the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday at Turner Field.
After Evan Gattis' pinch-hit, two-out solo homer tied the game in the ninth, Jason Heyward kept the 10th alive with a double into the gap in left-center field.
"I reacted to the breaking stuff," Gattis recalled of his home run. "I wasn't looking for it, just kind of happened."
Brian Duensing (0-1) then intentionally walked Justin Upton to get to Freeman, who punched a 3-2 slider into shallow right field to score Heyward for the deciding run.
Craig Kimbrel (1-1) blanked the Twins in the top of the 10th to earn the win.
Freeman also added an RBI double in the first, while Brian McCann went 3-for-4 with a solo homer and two RBI for the Braves, who can sweep this three-game set with a victory in Wednesday's finale.
Trevor Plouffe and Ryan Doumit smacked consecutive run-scoring singles in the eighth to put Minnesota in front, but reliever Glen Perkins was unable to hold the lead in the ninth for the Twins, who have lost a season-high seven straight games.
"It happens," Perkins said of the homer to Gattis. "You got to make good pitches. (Gattis) is up there to do one thing and he did it. We've been struggling, guys fought back and we got a lead. Just bad timing you know."
Freeman's run-scoring double preceded an RBI single from McCann in the first to give the Braves a 2-0 lead, but with runners on first and second in the second, Pedro Florimon stroked a single to left to score Justin Morneau and slice Atlanta's lead in half.
Joe Mauer singled with one away in the third before a storm hit Turner Field, causing a power outage at the stadium and a 1 hour, 16 minute delay.
When play resumed, Atlanta starter Tim Hudson returned to his post on the mound and served up consecutive singles to Josh Willingham and Morneau, with Morneau's plating Mauer to tie the contest.
Minnesota starter Mike Pelfrey did not return after the lengthy delay, as Anthony Swarzak started the third and retired the Braves in order before serving up McCann's leadoff blast in the fourth that put Atlanta in front.
Hudson and reliever Anthony Varvaro combined to keep the Twins off the board until the eighth, when Luis Avilan entered and allowed a leadoff single to Mauer before walking Willingham.
After popping out Morneau, Avilan was replaced by Cory Gearrin, who served up back-to-back RBI singles to Plouffe and Doumit that gave Minnesota a 4-3 edge.
Hudson allowed two runs on five hits while striking out five over five frames ... Pelfrey was charged with two runs on four hits over two innings ... Minnesota went 4-for-12 with runners in scoring position and left nine on base ... Atlanta finished 2-for-4 with RISP and stranded six baserunners.