Braves rally by Brewers
May 23, 2014 | 302 views | 0 0 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Atlanta Braves pinch hitter Ryan Doumit puts the Braves ahead with a two-run base hit in the seventh inning against the Milwaukee Brewers Thursday, in Atlanta.  AP photo
Atlanta Braves pinch hitter Ryan Doumit puts the Braves ahead with a two-run base hit in the seventh inning against the Milwaukee Brewers Thursday, in Atlanta. AP photo
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ATLANTA (AP) — For Ryan Doumit, the wait was agonizing.

Imagine how the Milwaukee Brewers were feeling.

Doumit’s pinch-hit single brought home two runs after the Brewers summoned a relief pitcher who had not even been warming up, capping a three-run seventh inning that carried the Atlanta Braves to a 5-4 victory Thursday night.

Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke told the umpires that Will Smith would take the mound in a double switch, even though Smith had not thrown at all in the bullpen.

After a lengthy delay while the umpires tried to sort things out, even getting on the headsets to talk with the video review center in New York, Smith was forced to face Doumit after tossing only the customary eight warm-up pitches.

Doumit fouled a ball off each foot before ripping a single to left, bringing home the tying and go-ahead runs.

“It was a painful at-bat,” he said, “but a good result.”

The Brewers were down two coaches, and that certainly affected their game protocol.

Pitching coach Rick Kranitz and bullpen coach Lee Tunnell were both excused to attend graduations, and Rick Tomlin, normally the minor league pitching coordinator, filled in for Kranitz.

“My fault. Miscommunication,” Roenicke said. “There’s a certain way we do things, and when Kranitz isn’t here, I didn’t go back and tell Rick Tomlin who to get up and bring in. It’s my fault.”

The Braves trailed 4-1 heading to the bottom of the sixth.

B.J. Upton hit a two-out homer, barely clearing the right-field wall, and the Braves rallied for the win the next inning. Gerald Laird also had a key hit, a run-scoring double that ricocheted off an infielder’s glove.

Jean Segura had three hits for Milwaukee and scored two runs, driven home both times by two-out hits from Jonathan Lucroy.

Alex Wood (4-5) worked a scoreless inning for the win, and Craig Kimbrel earned his 12th save.

Brandon Kintzler (1-2) took the loss, failing to retire the only batter he faced.

Chris Johnson started the Atlanta seventh with a single. Dan Uggla, in a rare start, singled to left after fouling off three pitches to keep the at-bat alive.

Kintzler took over for starter Matt Garza, but Laird ripped one off the glove of third baseman Mark Reynolds, the ball rolling into short left field. A run scored, and Laird hustled to second for a double that barely got out of the infield.

Then things really went haywire for the Brewers.

After the botched pitching change, Milwaukee pulled in the infield, hoping to cut off the tying run at the plate. Doumit foiled that strategy by lining one past the shortstop, bringing home both Uggla and Laird.

Doumit was frustrated with all the delays in the game, which dragged on for 3 hours, 36 minutes and featured three overturned replay calls, not to mention the confusion over Milwaukee’s pitching change.

“There’s a certain pace to the game,” Doumit said. “As a player, I don’t like waiting around.”

The Braves would go on to load the bases with one out, extending the rally after yet another video review. Scooter Gennett made a brilliant backhanded stop on Jason Heyward’s grounder and flipped the ball in one motion to the shortstop Segura, who came off the bag quickly to make a throw to first.

That was too late to get Heyward, and the Brewers wound up with no outs on the play when Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez challenged the call. The replay showed Segura’s foot came off the bag a split-second before he squeezed the ball in his glove.

The Braves failed to take advantage of the overturned call. Smith struck out Freddie Freeman with the bases loaded, and Rob Wooten came in to fan Justin Upton to end the threat.

It didn’t matter. Dave Carpenter worked a 1-2-3 eighth and Kimbrel worked around a hit batter to lead off the ninth, striking out the side.

Garza went 6 1-3 innings, giving up five hits and four runs.

Logan Schafer’s squeeze bunt brought in another Milwaukee run, and Khris Davis finished off Atlanta starter Aaron Harang with an RBI single in the sixth. Harang allowed nine hits and all four Brewers runs in 5 1-3 innings.

Braves Bits: Uggla also had a walk and scored two runs in only his second start since May 6. ... Gavin Floyd (0-1) will go against Colorado’s Jordan Lyles (5-1) today in the opener of a three-game series at Turner Field.