Brian McCann missed the start of the regular season after shoulder surgery this past offseason, but he’s now returned to the Braves and is starting to find his old swing of late. The 29-year-old hit two homer runs on Tuesday, including a solo shot in extras to lead the Braves past the Blue Jays 7-6 in the 10th inning.
Both teams got off to a hot start at the plate as neither starting pitcher had their best stuff. The Braves’ Paul Maholm never found a rhythm on the mound in six innings of work while Brendan Morrow failed to make it to the third inning.
The Braves jumped all over Morrow in the top of the first as Freddie Freeman hit an RBI-single and came in to score on a throwing error later in the inning. Their early 3-0 lead wouldn’t last, as the Blue Jays put together four runs in the bottom half to erase the deficit.
Toronto hit two doubles in the inning, highlighted by Mark DeRosa’s ground-rule double that drove in Edwin Encarnacion and J.P. Arencibia. Morrow’s struggles on the mound in the top half were quickly erased, but he failed to hold the lead in the second after a solo home run by Jordan Schafer.
The score remained tied at four apiece until the fourth inning when Jose Bautista hit his 12th homer of the year with a shot to deep left. The Braves once again responded two innings later when Evan Gattis and Brian McCann hit solo homers to regain the lead.
The back-and-forth battle continued as they entered the seventh, and Braves’ reliever Anthony Varvaro couldn’t hold it together as the Blue Jays scratched across another run when Arencibia doubled in Bautista.
After tying the game in the seventh, the Blue Jays failed to get another hit throughout the rest of the game, which didn’t end until the 10th inning. The deciding run came off the bat of Brian McCann, who launched a pitch from right-hander Thad Weber over the wall in right-center field.
The Braves’ win ends a quick two-game losing streak which came after a run of eight straight wins. Atlanta is currently five games ahead of the Nationals for the NL East lead while the Blue Jays have fallen 10 games back in the AL East.
Do you think the Atlanta Braves are on their way to another long winning streak after Brian McCann’s big night on Tuesday?
[Image via Creative Commons | SD Dirk]