ATLANTA (AP) — Sean Murphy hit a two-run homer in the 10th inning and the Atlanta Braves recovered after blowing a two-run lead in the ninth to beat the Cincinnati Reds 5-4 on Monday night.
Murphy blasted the first pitch from Derek Law (0-2) to center field for his third hit of the game, driving in designated runner Austin Riley.
“Just trying to do a job,” Murphy said. “I got it inside and good things happened.”
Murphy’s teammates emptied coolers of water on him as he crossed the plate and then gave him another shower near the dugout.
The homer was the first of the season for Murphy, who came to Atlanta in a three-team offseason trade. He then signed a $73 million, six-year deal with the Braves.
“I’m happy for him that he can have a night like that,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “You come to a new team and you want to do good.”
Atlanta snapped a three-game skid.
Jonathan India opened the 10th inning for the Reds with a single to right field off Dylan Lee (1-0), driving in designated runner Jose Barrero from second base for a 4-3 lead.
“We know, our players know, if you keep playing like that good things will happen,” Reds manager David Bell said. “We gave ourselves a great opportunity to win the game. … Even though we lost tonight, we can still build off this.”
Braves fill-in closer A.J. Minter blew a 3-1 lead in the ninth, wasting a strong start by rookie Bryce Elder.
Minter allowed three straight hits and two runs before recording an out. Wil Myers reached on a single before pinch-hitter Stuart Fairchild’s drive to left field was deflected by Kevin Pillar, who tried to make a leaping grab over the wall and knocked the ball back to the warning track. Myers scored as Fairchild raced to third.
Spencer Steer’s bloop single drove in Fairchild to tie the game.
Murphy drove in the game’s first run with a double in the sixth inning.
Orlando Arcia moved to third on a two-out single by Ronald Acuña Jr., who had three hits, off Buck Farmer. Left-hander Reiver Sanmartin walked Matt Olson to load the bases before throwing a wild pitch that allowed Arcia to score with a head-first slide across the plate.
The Reds scored a run off right-hander Nick Anderson in the eighth. Jonathan India doubled and scored on Jake Fraley’s two-out single to right field.
Arcia had a single off Sanmartin in the eighth that drove in Ozzie Albies.
Reds right-hander Graham Ashcraft was pulled after he walked Arcia to open the seventh. Ashcraft allowed two runs on six hits and three walks.
“He had great stuff … against a great lineup,” Bell said. “To hold that team to not many runs is all you can ask for.”
ELDER MAKES STATEMENT
Elder allowed six hits in 6 1/3 innings and left the game with a 1-0 lead. He had seven strikeouts and one walk and has not allowed a run through two starts.
“He just made pitches right on the edge,” Bell said. “He located them exactly where he needed them. Give him credit.”
Added Snitker: “He kept the ball on the ground. He was good. Really, really good.”
The 23-year-old Elder is making a case to earn a full-time spot at the bottom of an Atlanta rotation that has Kyle Wright (right shoulder inflammation) and Max Fried (strained left hamstring) on the injured list.
Elder allowed two hits in six scoreless innings in a 5-2 win at St. Louis on Wednesday.
Reds: RHP Lucas Sims (back) threw a scoreless inning and RHP Luke Weaver (right elbow) threw four hitless innings in rehab assignments for Triple-A Louisville on Sunday. RHP Tony Santillan (lower back stress fracture) threw a scoreless inning for Louisville on Friday, and manager David Bell said he’d like to see Sims and Santillan make appearances on back-to-back days before they come off the injured list.
Braves: Fried (hamstring) has no difficulty throwing off the mound but is still being watched closely on drills in fielding bunts and covering first base. … RHP Raisel Iglesias (strained right shoulder) has thrown on flat ground without difficulty but has yet to throw off a mound in his rehab.
The Braves announced after the game that Wright, the majors’ only 20-game winner last season, will be activated from the 15-day injured list to make his season debut on Tuesday night against Reds RHP Luis Cessa (0-0, 3.38 ERA). Wright, 21-5 with a 3.19 ERA in 2022, was placed on the IL on March 27 with right shoulder inflammation.
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