Arencibia's error helps Braves walk off
Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - It was the 10th inning when Jason Heyward scored the winning run in unconventional fashion on Friday, allowing the Braves to defeat the Blue Jays, 4-3, in the opener of a three-game interleague series.
Heyward singled off of Francisco Cordero (1-4) to start the frame and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. He then stole third and came home when Toronto catcher J.P. Arencibia's errant throw escaped into left field.
Cristhian Martinez (3-1) tossed a scoreless top of the 10th for the Braves, winners of five in a row.
On a night when Atlanta honored former All-Star hurler John Smoltz, starter Brandon Beachy appeared poised to steal the show.
He went 2-for-2 with a double and took a one-hit shutout into the sixth inning. There he surrendered a leadoff homer to Jose Bautista before being relieved later in the frame.
In all he was charged with two runs on three hits and five walks in five-plus innings.
"I think that's one of the times when you use the phrase effectively wild because I was not controlling any of my pitches," said Beachy. "I was walking a lot of guys and somehow it was keeping them off balance. I thought maybe they were scared I was gonna hit them. I (almost) did a few times there."
Toronto starter Kyle Drabek also lasted five-plus frames, giving up three runs -- including a bases loaded walk in the third -- on six hits and four walks.
Bautista tied the game, 1-1, in the sixth and Beachy was removed following a single by Edwin Encarnacion and a walk to Kelly Johnson. A sac bunt advanced Encarnacion, who missed the last three games with an injured hand, and Arencibia's RBI fielder's choice groundout off of Chad Durbin put the Blue Jays on top.
The lead proved fleeting, however, as Dan Uggla started the bottom half with a walk and scored on Heyward's double to right-center. Later in the inning, Chad Beck entered with runners on the corners and was called for a balk when he faked a throw to third base, then turned and faked a throw towards first.
In the eighth, Encarnacion doubled off of Eric O'Flaherty and scored the tying run on consecutive groundouts by Johnson and Yunel Escobar.
"Encarnacion came back and it's good to get him back in the lineup, but we walked in a run and the winning run scores on an error," said Blue Jays manager John Farrell.
The Braves went 0-for-12 with runners in scoring position. The Blue Jays went 0-for-6...Smoltz had his No. 29 retired before the game and was inducted into the Braves Hall of Fame. He spent 20 seasons with Atlanta and is the only pitcher in major league history with at least 200 wins and 150 saves. He won the National League Cy Young Award in 1996 and was named an All-Star eight times...Encarnacion went 2-for-4 with a double and two runs scored...Braves third baseman Chipper Jones began an injury rehab assignment on Friday. He was placed on the 15-day disabled list on May 26 (retroactive to May 24) with a left leg contusion.