Justin Upton's 3-run HR helps Braves top Reds 5-4

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 25, 2014 at 10:52 pm •  Published: April 25, 2014
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ATLANTA (AP) — Craig Kimbrel found ninth-inning drama before a big stretch by Freddie Freeman saved the night for the Braves.

Justin Upton hit a three-run homer to continue another strong April, Ervin Santana earned his third win and the Atlanta Braves held off the Cincinnati Reds 5-4 on Friday night.

Kimbrel gave up a leadoff single to Roger Bernadina and walked Zack Cozart to open the ninth. Kimbrel struck out Brayan Pena and Chris Heisey before earning his seventh save on Joey Votto's groundout.

Freeman made a long stretch at first base for Chris Johnson's throw from third base on Heisey's groundball. Reds manager Bryan Price challenged first base umpire Vic Carapazza's ruling that Freeman's foot remained on the bag. The call was confirmed, ending the game.

"Freddie did a terrific job staying on the bag," said Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez. He acknowledged he was nervous about the challenge before seeing the replay on the video board "and I felt kind of relaxed."

Price said that when looking across the field he thought he saw "a huge gap" between Freeman's foot and the bag. He said he agreed with the confirmed out call after seeing the replay.

"I had a chance to come up here and look at our own video, which is what they're getting in New York, and it was a confirmed out call," Price said. "They got the call right in the end, which is what we're looking for."

Two Cincinnati players left the game with injuries. Third baseman Todd Frazier was pulled in the fifth with tightness in his left leg. Catcher Devin Mesoraco strained his left hamstring and stumbled after rounding third base in the seventh, before limping across home plate.

Price said he was protecting Frazier, who had previous tightness in his groin.

Santana (3-0) gave up four runs on nine hits in 6 2-3 innings.

Following singles by B.J. Upton and Freddie Freeman off Homer Bailey (1-2) in the first inning, Justin Upton hit his team-leading sixth homer. He leads the team with 15 RBIs.

"We've seen him do this before and carry us for a while," Gonzalez said.

In 2013, Justin Upton led the majors with 12 homers in April, becoming the fastest player in Braves franchise history to reach the mark. He has hit 35 homers in April for his career, his highest total for any month.

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