ATLANTA (AP) — Tony Cingrani took a “nice and easy” approach to end a night of ugly pitching for the Reds and Braves — Cincinnati manager Bryan Price called it “really odd baseball.”
Cingrani capped a game in which the two teams combined for 12 walks with a perfect ninth inning to close out the Reds’ 9-8 win over Atlanta on Monday.
Tyler Holt’s bases-loaded walk off closer Arodys Vizcaino forced in the tie-breaking run in the ninth. It was Vizcaino’s third walk of the inning and the eighth for Braves pitchers.
“If you’re a baseball purist, I don’t think that’s one you’re going to put on a CD and save forever,” Price said.
Cingrani recorded three quick outs on groundouts by Freddie Freeman, Nick Markakis and Adonis Garcia.
Cingrani said he was determined he wouldn’t add more walks to the daunting collection by the two teams. He said aggressive approaches by Atlanta’s hitters helped him record quick outs.
“I wanted to come in and throw strikes and quality strikes,” Cingrani said earning his seventh save in 12 chances.
“Freeman swings at the first pitch and Markakis was up there swinging at two pitches and he grounds out. Garcia seemed like he wanted to swing it so just throw it in there and let them get themselves out. A nice, easy inning.”
Adam Duvall hit a two-run homer and drove in three runs for the Reds.
Joey Votto hit a leadoff bloop double into shallow left field to lead off the ninth. The ball fell off third baseman Garcia’s glove as he ran with his back to the infield.
Vizcaino (1-2) struck out Brandon Phillips before issuing an intentional walk to Jay Bruce. Duvall popped out before Eugenio Suarez walked to load the bases for Holt, who walked on a 3-1 pitch.
Ross Ohlendorf (5-5) allowed one run in the eighth on Garcia’s tying homer.
Freeman drove in three runs with three hits, including a two-run homer off JC Ramirez in the fifth.
Each starting pitcher struggled.
Reds right-hander Daniel Wright, making his second career start, allowed five runs, three earned, on six hits and a walk in three innings. Braves right-hander Aaron Blair allowed six runs on four hits and four walks in five innings, leaving his ERA at 7.59.
“You can’t defend it,” said Braves interim manager Brian Snitker of the walks. “You can’t do anything with it. And he ended up, what, retiring the last nine out of 10. Seemed like he got tired of it and got aggressive but that’s kind of the way you’ve got to start the game.”
Reds: OF Billy Hamilton, on the seven-day concussion DL, had a “really good day” on Sunday, according to manager Bryan Price. Hamilton could be cleared for game action by Thursday, when he’ll be eligible for reinstatement.
Braves: SS Erick Aybar was knocked to the ground when hit on his chest by Blake Wood’s pitch in the sixth. He needed several minutes before returning to his feet and remaining in the game. … RHP Shea Simmons, recovering from Tommy John surgery on Feb. 12, 2015, was scratched from his last injury rehab start with Double-A Mississippi on Friday as he continues to experience soreness. … LHP Eric O’Flaherty was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a right knee strain. RHP Weber was recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett and gave up two runs in the sixth.
Reds: LHP Brandon Finnegan (2-4, 3.77) will make his first career appearance against Atlanta on Tuesday night. Finnegan is tied with Dan Straily for the staff lead with seven quality starts and allowed a combined three earned runs in his last two starts.
Braves: RHP Julio Teheran will look to extend his career success against the Reds. Teheran (2-6, 2.85) is 2-1 with a 1.78 ERA in four career starts against the Reds.