Cincinnati, OH (SportsNetwork.com) - Aroldis Chapman's wild pitch in the ninth inning forced in the winning run as the Atlanta Braves picked up a 2-1 win over the Cincinnati Reds in Monday's series opener.
Chapman (1-2) took the mound in the ninth and quickly worked his way into a jam, serving up singles to pinch-hitter Phil Gosselin and Nick Markakis. Gosselin stole third during Andrelton Simmons' at-bat, and after the shortstop struck out swinging, Gosselin sprinted home on Chapman's wild offering with Freddie Freeman at the dish.
"I don't know if he's your typical stolen-base threat, but he had a great jump, great lead and beat the throw to third base and was able to score," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "It was a good way to end a losing streak."
Freeman singled to put two on, but Chapman kept it a one-run game by retiring Jonny Gomes.
Luis Avilan (1-0) earned the win for tossing a clean eighth, and Jim Johnson pitched around a one-out single by Brandon Phillips to pick up his second save.
"We had chances to win that game and didn't do anything to win that game. We have to go out and take that victory," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "You end up getting in a situation where you make one mistake and it costs you the game. That's what happened today. We just didn't play very well."
Neither starter factored into the decision, though both pitched well in a rematch of a Cincinnati win on April 30. Mike Leake got the better of Shelby Miller in that game, tossing eight scoreless innings and adding his fifth career home run.
Leake allowed a run on eight hits over six innings on Monday, while Miller lasted seven innings, yielding a run with eight strikeouts.
The Reds struck first in the home second, but only managed one run despite loading the bases with no outs. Phillips and Jay Bruce had consecutive singles before Kris Negron walked to load the bags.
Tucker Barnhart made it 1-0 with his sacrifice fly to center. Leake then grounded into a fielder's choice, with Bruce getting thrown out at home, and Billy Hamilton popped softly to Simmons in foul territory to end the threat.
Simmons homered to lead off the fourth inning, ending Leake's 19-inning scoreless streak that started with his win over the Braves two weeks ago. Atlanta loaded the bases with three singles later in the frame, but Leake got out of it without yielding another run.
The start of the game was delayed an hour and 40 minutes because of rain ... Reds shortstop Zack Cozart was a late scratch with a sore left wrist ... Atlanta won despite hitting 2-for-12 with runners in scoring position and leaving 11 runners on base. Cincinnati finished 0-for-7 with RISP.