Braves outlast Blue Jays in slugfest

Toronto, ON ( – Jonny Gomes and Freddie Freeman hit eighth-
inning home runs to lead the Atlanta Braves to an 8-7 win over the Toronto
Blue Jays on Friday.

Atlanta collected 12 hits, including four from Nick Markakis, who reached base
five times and scored three runs. Andrelton Simmons drove in two runs on a
double and scored twice himself.

“Those guys are going to swing the bats, and we were just trying to match
them,” said Markakis.

Julio Teheran was bounced after allowing a career-high four home runs in five
innings. He finished with five runs allowed on seven hits and two walks. Cody
Martin (1-0) picked up his first big league win with a scoreless inning of

Russell Martin and Josh Donaldson each hit their first two home runs of the
season for the Blue Jays, and Devon Travis also went deep to lead off the

Drew Hutchison was charged with five runs — four earned — on seven hits and
three walks in 4 2/3 innings with six strikeouts. Brett Cecil (0-1) allowed
both Atlanta home runs after entering the game in a 5-5 tie.

Atlanta took its first lead with two outs in the fifth. Simmons
lined a pitch over Jose Bautista’s head in right field to score Markakis
and Chris Johnson. Simmons moved up to third on the throw home and scored on
Jace Peterson’s triple.

That 5-4 lead was short-lived. Travis grounded out to open the fifth
before Donaldson launched his second home run of the game to center

Until the eighth, each team’s bullpen managed to settle the game down. Toronto
called on Cecil, but Atlanta countered with Gomes pinch-hitting
for Cameron Maybin. He hit his second home run of the season to put Atlanta
back in front.

Cecil got the next two batters, but Markakis’ single kept the inning
alive. Freeman followed by launching a home run to right field to
extend the lead to 8-5.

Atlanta summoned Jim Johnson in the eighth, but he was greeted rudely by
Martin, who hit his second home run to the opposite field. The next
two Blue Jays singled, and Ryan Goins moved them into scoring position with a
sacrifice bunt. Atlanta conceded a run to get an out, and Donaldson then
grounded out to end the inning and strand the tying and go-ahead runs on base.

Jason Grilli came on in the ninth to record his fifth save and did so with an
uneventful 1-2-3 inning.

Travis’ leadoff home run on the third pitch of the game put the Blue
Jays up 1-0 and continued his scorching start in his rookie season.

The Braves responded a half inning later with an unearned run. Goins,
filling in for the injured Jose Reyes at shortstop, made a two-out error to
set up Eric Young Jr.’s single to score Simmons.

After Dioner Navarro struck out to open the bottom of the second, Teheran
allowed another home run, this time to Martin.

Again, Hutchison failed to produce a shutdown frame. Markakis was already on
base with a single, and he moved up to second on Johnson’s hit. A.J.
Pierzynski then singled through the infield, and Bautista’s throw home was not
in time.

The Blue Jays answered quickly with a two-run home run to the opposite field
off the bat of Donaldson.

Game Notes

Toronto is 0-4 in one-run games this season … The Blue Jays had not been
under .500 since May 14, 2014 … Martin’s first home run ended an 0-for-22
dry spell … Reyes is expected to miss this series with a broken rib …
Johnson made his first career start at DH for Atlanta.