CINCINNATI -- It was a night when both teams' bullpens had spells of not getting the job done. But the messy battle of relievers was ultimately claimed by the Braves with a 5-4 victory over the Reds in 11 innings, with Ender Inciarte's sacrifice fly being the difference.
In the top of the 11th, Nick Markakis hit a leadoff single against Tony Cingrani, who worked a scoreless 10th for Cincinnati. Blake Wood took over and allowed Jeff Francoeur's single that put runners on the corners. Inciarte hit a fly ball to center field and Markakis scored the go-ahead run -- just the third inherited runner to cross the plate on Wood this season. Francoeur was thrown out by Billy Hamilton for the double play trying to advance to second base, but the damage was already done.
Flamethrowing right-hander Mauricio Cabrera earned the win when he pitched the final 1 2/3 innings for Atlanta with one infield hit in the 11th that left the tying run stranded.
"[Cabrera] just keep pitching those stressful innings, and it doesn't bother him a bit," Braves manager Brian Snitker said. "The expression never changes. He just keeps throwing, he keeps pitching. I've been very impressed with his makeup, his mound presence, the way he goes about it, and he's going to get better and better."
Braves closer Jim Johnson could not lock down a 4-2 advantage in the bottom of the ninth, as the Reds scored twice. Eugenio Suarez's leadoff single and a bloop double by Ramon Cabrera led to one run when pinch-hitter Tucker Barnhart hit an RBI groundout to shortstop. The tying run followed, on Zack Cozart's RBI single down the left-field line, before he was thrown out trying for a double. Hamilton followed with an infield single but was caught stealing with Joey Votto batting to send the game into extras.
It was a 2-2 game when the Reds bullpen's season-high scoreless streak of 13 innings was snapped by Gordon Beckham's two-run home run in the seventh off of Michael Lorenzen. It was the first homer allowed by Cincinnati's bullpen since July 4, ending its longest homerless streak of the season but adding to its Major League lead with 67 home runs allowed.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Blown save: The Braves were in line to get starter Tyrell Jenkins his first career win, but Johnson couldn't hold it down in the ninth and gave up the tying runs. It was Johnson's third blown save in five opportunities.
No. 19 for Bruce: Following a Votto two-out walk against Jenkins in the first inning, Bruce hit a 3-1 pitch that cleared the fence in left-center field for a two-run homer and a 2-0 Reds lead. It was Bruce's 19th homer of the season, a welcomed one for the 2016 All-Star, who came in batting .174 in July -- including 2-for-11 in his previous four games. Bruce finished the rest of the night hitless, however, and grounded into two double plays.
Defense doesn't deliver: Reds starter Cody Reed lost his lead in the top of the second when two defensive miscues opened the door for Atlanta. Inciarte reached on an error by Suarez, putting runners on first and second. A four-pitch Reed walk to Anthony Recker loaded the bases for Erick Aybar, who lined a comebacker off of the pitcher's glove and into right field for an RBI single. Bruce charged the ball but dropped the barehand attempt to grab off the grass for an error that let a second run score.
Cincinnati is tied for second in the Majors with 68 errors this season.
Beckham's slump buster: Beckham ended an 0-for-16 drought with a single to lead off the game. He went on to hit a two-run go-ahead homer in the seventh, which came off the bat at 96 mph and traveled 396 feet, according to Statcast™. Beckham's last hit, which came on July 9, was also a homer. Since returning from the disabled list on July 7, Beckham is hitting .200 with 10 strikeouts in 30 at-bats.
"I kind of saw it go out to the outfield and I kind of put my head down a little bit, because I didn't know I had it," Beckham said. "I was glad to get it out of there. You never know with me. I hit it in the first row. I'll take whatever I can get."
"Every time he comes in the game, you feel confident that he's going to do something really cool, like throw 104 [mph]. He's pretty special and he's young. We'll see where he goes, but he can really throw the ball and he's fun. He's pretty much a lock-down guy." -- Beckham, on Cabrera's 1 2/3 scoreless innings
With one out in the top of the 10th inning, Braves third baseman Adonis Garcia singled off of Cingrani. He didn't last long on first though, getting picked off by Cingrani. Snitker believed that Cingrani balked on the pickoff attempt and argued it to first-base umpire Angel Hernandez. Snitker was ejected during the argument.
"I just thought it was a balk," Snitker said. "I haven't even looked at it, but it was just kind of a thing, everything happened so fast. Just, I thought it was a balk. You can't argue that."
WHAT'S NEXT Braves: The Braves look to take the series in a 12:35 p.m. ET rubber match against the Reds on Wednesday. Lucas Harrell takes the mound, eyeing a rebound from a 3 2/3-inning, five-run outing against the Rockies on Friday. Harrell was 2-0 with a 1.32 ERA in two starts before the All-Star break.
Reds:Anthony DeSclafani, the Reds' hottest starting pitcher, will get the ball to face Atlanta. In his seven starts this season since returning from the disabled list, DeSclafani is 4-0 with a 2.55 ERA..