ATLANTA -- Chipper Jones says extra innings "stink" so he was anxious to make sure a game already 4 hours long didn't continue.
Jones' single in the 12th inning drove in Jordan Schafer to give the Atlanta Braves a 7-6 win over the weary Cincinnati Reds on Saturday night."It's always good to come through on your last at-bat," said Jones, who was 0 for 4 with a walk before the game-winning hit."One finally fell in, so it was nice," he said.Brian McCann had four hits, including two homers. Freddie Freeman also homered for Atlanta.It was the second extra-inning game in four days for the Reds, who lost 5-4 in 19 innings in Philadelphia on Wednesday night.Carlos Fisher (0-2) walked Schafer to lead off the 12th. Fisher, working his second inning after throwing 5 2/3 innings in Wednesday night's game, also walked Martin Prado.The switch-hitting Jones, batting from the left side against the right-handed Fisher, pulled a pitch past second baseman Brandon Phillips into right field. The speedy Schafer easily beat Jay Bruce's throw to the plate.The teams used 13 pitchers and combined for 30 hits in the game which lasted 4 hours, 3 minutes.The Braves played their seventh extra-innings game of May, each lasting at least 11 innings, and their fifth in the last 10 games.Saturday night's game was a big drain on each bullpen as starting pitchers Derek Lowe and Bronson Arroyo each was knocked out early.Atlanta relievers gave up one run in 8 2/3 innings."The bullpen was outstanding," said Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez. "To cover that, wow! Outstanding job."Scott Linebrink (1-1) pitched two scoreless innings after also pitching two scoreless innings on Friday night. He gave up a hit and issued an intentional walk in the 12th before ending the inning on Drew Stubbs' double-play grounder.Gonzalez said Linebrink and Jonny Venters, who also threw two scoreless innings, would not be available on Sunday night's final game of the series. Gonzalez said the team may make call up a fresh arm for the game.The Reds also could make another roster move on Sunday."Fisher didn't deserve to lose that one but he was weary, too," said Reds manager Dusty Baker. "We're beat up right now. That 19-inning game, you're still seeing the effects of that."Stubbs had three hits and drove in three runs and Jonny Gomes had four hits for Cincinnati.Cincinnati's Arroyo and Atlanta's Lowe, teammates on the Boston Red Sox in 2003-04, had similarly poor starts.Arroyo gave up nine hits -- including third-inning homers by McCann and Freeman -- and five runs. He has given up 18 runs in 12 2/3 innings over his last three starts.Arroyo was making his first start since an MRI showed a minor muscle strain in his back.Lowe left the bases loaded in the first and third innings, retiring Bruce on infield grounders to end each Cincinnati threat.Lowe's luck ran out in the fourth, when the right-hander blew a 5-0 lead. Stubbs had a three-run double over the head of right fielder Eric Hinske, followed by a run-scoring double by Phillips. Joey Votto's single to center drove in Phillips to tie the game.Lowe, who walked five for the second straight start, gave up seven hits and five runs in 3 1/3 innings."It was frustrating," Lowe said. "It got to the point you were just trying to throw strikes. That's never a good sign."You can't act like 10 walks (in two games) isn't a big issue, because it is," Lowe added. "You really have to try to figure it out."Left-hander Jeremy Horst, called up from Triple-A Louisville earlier in the day, had to wait only a few hours for his major league debut. Horst retired the Braves in order in the fourth and had a run-scoring single in his first at-bat in the fifth. He had four strikeouts in 2 2/3 innings and gave up only one run, McCann's second homer.Reds shortstop Edgar Renteria, running with his back to the infield, made an over-the-shoulder catch of a short flyball hit by Alex Gonzalez in the sixth.Schafer had Atlanta's top defensive play in the seventh when he made a running basket catch at the wall in left-center field to rob pinch-hitter Fred Lewis.The Reds wasted a scoring chance in the eighth when Scott Rolen's single to left field off Venters moved Votto to third base, but Rolen was thrown out at second base by left fielder Martin Prado.
RHP Daryl Thompson, who gave up five runs in three innings in his only appearance with Cincinnati, was optioned to Double-A Carolina. ... McCann had his seventh career two-homer game while matching his high with four hits. ... Gomes raised his batting average from .168 to .191.
36,615 (74.2% full) - % is based on regular season capacity
84 degrees, partly cloudy
Home Plate - John Tumpane, First Base - Dan Iassogna, Second Base - C.B. Bucknor, Third Base - Dale Scott
Chipper Jones' 7 walk-off hits in extra innings are tied with Andruw Jones for the most by a Braves player since the team moved to Atlanta in 1966.
Jeremy Horst (Reds) made his MLB debut in relief of starter Bronson Arroyo on Saturday vs the Braves. He got a hit in his first at-bat in the 5th inning. The last pitcher to make his MLB debut in relief and get a hit in his first MLB at-bat was Jason Hammel (Rays) on June 18, 2007 at the Diamondbacks. The last Reds pitcher was Pat Zachry in 1976 vs the Astros.