Jun 7, 2014; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Atlanta Braves pitcher Craig Kimbrel in the ninth inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. The Diamondbacks defeated the Braves 4-3 in eleven innings. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Atlanta Braves Blow Two Saves "It Kind Of Sucks"

The Atlanta Braves held a 2-1 lead heading into the bottom of the 9th inning in Arizona on Saturday night but weren’t able to sustain the lead.

Manager Fredi Gonzalez sent the franchise leader in saves, Craig Kimbrel, to the mound to close out the game but a walk, a stolen base and a double later, the game is tied.

“It’s tough to convert one run saves, you make a mistake here or there and they put a run on you,” Fredi said after the game.

Kimbrel blows his third save of the 2014 season and after the game showed a little displeasure about always trying to close out one run games.

“It kind of sucks, you give up one run and it’s blown,” Kimbrel said.  “I’m going to give up runs, pitchers give up runs.  It just seems like this year they’re one-run ballgames when I do.

Fredi backed his closer after the game and continued to reiterate that one run games are unacceptable and difficult to close out.

“He’s human and that’s what I told him,” Gonzalez said.  “It’s tough to save a one run game.  He’ll be back out there tomorrow if the situation aries, we just need to get him back on the horse.”

Kimbrel blew the save in the 9th inning but the game was still tied leaving the 9th…so the fans got to see some free baseball!

Jun 7, 2014; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Atlanta Braves outfielder Jason Heyward (right) celebrates with teammate Freddie Freeman after hitting a solo home run in the tenth inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

In the top of the 10th inning, Jason Heyward took Arizona’s closer Addison Reed deep with a fly ball to right field to put the Braves on top 3-2.

But then the D-Backs came right back in the bottom of the 10th inning when Miguel Montero hit an opposite field home run off Braves reliever Anthony Varvaro…game tied again going into the 11th inning.

Braves fail to score but Arizona does in the 11th off Dan Carpenter to win the game 4-3.  Gerardo Parra hit a bloop single off Carpenter after Cody Ross singled and Didi Gregorius walked.

“We came right back when Heyward gave us an opportunity to win it but then they got another run…and then another in the next inning to win but it’s hard to close out major league games with a one run lead.”

The bloop single by Parra landed between Andrelton Simmons and B.J. Upton in dead center.

“You can’t defend a bloop single, he hit it perfectly but Rodger will keep working with him,” said Fredi.  “We know how good he can be, he was so good last year that he was primarily our 8th inning guy.”

Carpenter has a 8.31 ERA and .415 opponents’ batting average in his past 11 appearances.  He has given up 17 hits and eight earned runs while only throwing 8.2 innings.  Dan still holds a 4-1 record for the 2014 season and a 4.01 ERA.

“Hitters go through it and pitchers will go through the same thing,” Fredi said about Carpenter.  “We will just continue to run him out there in situation where he can be successful and maybe he will get it turned around.”

The Braves take the field again on Sunday to try to win the series.  Start time is 4:10 PM Eastern with Aaron Harang taking on Chase Anderson.

Tags: Atlanta Braves

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