Gattis walks off with line-drive homer in 10th

Catcher's two-run shot to left wins it after Kimbrel can't hold lead

Gattis walks off with line-drive homer in 10th

ATLANTA -- Julio Teheran navigated his way through some early-inning struggles and Jason Heyward delivered a clutch hit against a left-handed pitcher. Everything was looking good for the Braves until Craig Kimbrel experienced his second straight frustration-filled outing.

But after Kimbrel suffered his first blown save of the season during Monday night's ninth inning at Turner Field, Evan Gattis concluded a 4-2, 10-inning win over the Marlins by realizing the thrill of hitting one of those walk-off home runs that he had only previously dreamed about.

"I was pretending what I am going to do whenever I round the bases," Gattis said. "I always like to imagine, like in the Minor Leagues I imagined myself jogging around the bases. Same big dumb animal, I'm just running around the bases in the big leagues instead of the Minors."

After Dan Uggla singled to open the bottom of the 10th inning, Gattis capped an eventful night by lining Arquimedes Caminero's 1-0 fastball over the left-field wall. The two-run shot -- his first career game-ending homer -- helped Gattis and Kimbrel distance themselves from the frustration they felt as the Marlins erased a one-run, ninth-inning deficit.

"If you make a mistake out over the plate, that is what he can do," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said of Gattis, who has hit nine of his 26 career home runs in close and late situations.

Exactly one week after being held out of a save situation because of a sore right shoulder, Kimbrel quickly encountered trouble as a leadoff walk and catcher's interference -- charged against Gattis -- set the stage for Derek Dietrich, who concluded a nine-pitch at-bat with a game-tying double off the left-center-field wall.

While proving more aggressive with his curveball, Kimbrel then proceeded to strike out the next three batters he faced. The conclusion of this latest rocky appearance slightly eased the concerns that materialized Saturday when he allowed the Mets to score two runs before being removed with two outs in the ninth.

Kimbrel said his shoulder felt fine. In addition, he was not willing to blame his recent rare struggles on the rust that developed as he rested his shoulder last week.

"I felt great, better than I had before my rest," Kimbrel said. "That's a good sign. So we'll go from here."

Teheran helped the Braves garner their seventh win in the past nine games by limiting the Marlins to one run over seven innings. But his effort might have gone for naught had Jordan Walden not escaped the eighth inning unscathed after the Marlins loaded the bases with one out, courtesy of another transfer play that has gained widespread attention with the new expanded replay system.

Giancarlo Stanton hit a potential inning-ending double play ball to Andrelton Simmons, who flipped to Uggla for what was initially ruled an out. But after Marlins manager Mike Redmond issued a challenge, the call was overturned because Uggla had dropped the ball as he was preparing to throw to first base.

"If we're going to win games on the road, we've got to take advantage of opportunities," Redmond said after his team fell to 0-7 on the road. "We weren't able to do that today, and that's too bad because we really should've won that game."

Simmons hit a game-tying home run in the fifth inning and then further frustrated Marlins starter Tom Koehler with a one-out single in the decisive seventh inning. Pinch-hitter Ryan Doumit followed with a single that put runners on the corners for Heyward, who hit an 0-2, 93 mph fastball to right field to score Simmons with a go-ahead run. Heyward's single was just his second hit in 19 at-bats against left-handed pitchers this year.

After Teheran threw 115 pitches -- the second-highest total of his young career -- while tossing a three-hit shutout in Philadelphia last week, the only question was how he would react during his next outing. The early results were not promising as he needed 39 pitches to navigate his way through the first two innings. Still, the only run he surrendered during this span came via Garrett Jones' second inning leadoff home run.

Teheran found a feel for his slider and surrendered just one more hit while totaling 52 pitches over his final five innings. Marlins leadoff hitter Christian Yelich extended his hitting streak to 15 games with a first-inning single fielded by shortstop Simmons. But like Stanton, the National League RBI leader, Yelich did not hit a ball out of the infield while opposing Teheran.

"These late-inning heroics overshadow what Julio did," Gonzalez said. "He gave us seven strong innings and he was in line for a win, and usually we convert that win."

Gattis' home run saved Kimbrel some heartache and also made amends for the opportunity the Braves squandered when Jordan Schafer opened the bottom of the ninth with a double off Carlos Marmol. Given the choice to swing away or bunt Schafer to third base, Heyward opted for the latter and popped the bunt attempt back to Marmol. Chris Johnson ended the ninth by grounding out with the bases loaded.

"The guys rallied and we won the game," Kimbrel said. "So, that's good. I can go out there, blow a save, and it hurts a lot worse than if we win. So, I'm glad we won tonight."

Mark Bowman is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.