CINCINNATI (AP) — Down three runs in the ninth inning, the Cincinnati Reds got one-out solo homers from Jake Fraley and Will Benson off Raisel Iglesias.
Could they extend a winning streak to 13 games for the first time in a century?
Iglesias struck out Matt McLain and Jonathan India, and the Atlanta Braves prevailed 7-6 in an eight-homer slugfest on Saturday to stop the Reds’ winning streak at 12 games.
“I wish we won 100 in a row,” Spencer Steer said. “We played some really good baseball the last two weeks. We’ve built a pretty good culture, good bond in that clubhouse and I think we believe that we can play with these heavyweights.”
Each team homered four times.
Matt Olson hit the 200th of his big league career and Travis d’Arnaud and Ozzie Albies also went deep off Graham Ashcraft (3-6), who allowed three long balls for the first time in 33 big league starts. Marcell Ozuna homered against Alex Young as the Braves won for the ninth time in 10 games.
McLain and Steer hit two-run homers for the Reds, and Fraley homered for the third straight game.
Iglesias, who pitched for the Reds from 2015-20, started the ninth by striking out TJ Friedl. After the homers, Iglesias got his 11th save in 13 chances.
“I never feel safe here with a lead and I never feel like we’re out of it,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “You never feel good until it’s over.”
Cincinnati’s winning streak was its longest since April 30 to May 12, 1957. The Reds have not won 13 straight since their final six games in 1918 and their first seven in 1919.
“It was quite a streak,” Reds manager David Bell said. “It went on for a while so we didn’t get used to it and that’s a good thing. It was a great streak. We all appreciate what we were able to accomplish against good teams and we learned a lot about ourselves and we became a better team. We became stronger. But as appreciative of the streak as we are, everything who we are and what we have in our clubhouse does not go away.”
Boosted by the streak, the Reds drew 43,498 for their first consecutive full-capacity sellouts since June 24-26, 2016, when Pete Rose’s No. 14 was retired.
“Everybody in this clubhouse enjoys playing in that type of atmosphere,” d’Arnaud said. “It was like the playoffs. Their energy was contagious. Electric, for sure.”
Michael Tonkin (2-0) pitched 2 1/3 hitless innings for the Braves, who won eight in a row before losing Friday’s series opener.
Ashcraft made his first start since he was hit by a comebacker June 8. He allowed six runs and 10 hits in four innings.
“I felt like that was one of the better outings that I’ve had in a while. It just didn’t go our way today,” he said.
Atlanta took a 2-0 lead on solo homers by d’Arnaud in the second and Albies in the third, the latter a drive off the bridge connecting the Sun and Moon Deck in right with the main concourse. Ozuna added an RBI single in the third and McLain’s homer cut the gap to 3-2.
Austin Riley hit an RBI double in the fourth and scored on Olson’s NL-leading 24th home run, his third of the series.
Ozuna’s seventh-inning homer was his 15th of the season and 13th since the start of May, and it put the Braves ahead 7-4.
Braves: C Sean Murphy (hamstring) is expected to start behind the plate on Sunday. He has made one pinch hit appearance since getting hurt a week ago.
Reds: RHP Ben Lively (right pectoral muscle strain) was placed on the 15-day IL, retroactive to Wednesday. Lively had been scheduled to start Sunday. … Ashcraft (bruised left calf) was activated from the 15-day IL and RHP Alan Busenitz was optioned to Triple-A Louisville.