Heredia stars with bat, glove as Braves beat Reds 3-2


CINCINNATI — Guillermo Heredia homered, doubled and made a defensive gem before crashing into the wall in the eighth inning in his return to Atlanta’s lineup, helping the Braves beat the Cincinnati Reds 3-2 on Friday night.

The game’s first run came in the fifth when Atlanta’s Freddie Freeman doubled home Ronald Acuña Jr. for his 900th career RBI.

Acuña returned to the lineup after missing two games with lower back tightness.

Dansby Swanson hit a solo homer in the sixth and Heredia added a solo shot in the seventh, both off Reds rookie Vladimir Gutiérrez (3-2).

Gutiérrez got some defensive help in the fourth. With runners on second and third and two outs, Eugenio Suárez made a diving stop of William Contreras’ bouncer down the line and threw to first from his knees to end the inning.

Suárez also hit a solo home run off Luke Jackson in the seventh.

Drew Smyly (1-1) exited after six innings with a 3-1 lead. And the bullpen made things interesting.

Heredia, who returned to the lineup after being available off the bench the last two games due to right wrist inflammation, robbed Jesse Winker of an extra-base hit leading off the eighth. He collided with the wall and appeared to hurt his right shoulder on the play, but remained in the game after being attended to by training staff.

Will Smith worked the ninth and picked up his 16th save.


Reds: After being scratched from his minor-league rehab start on Thursday due to a stiff back, right-hander Sonny Gray is confident he can make his scheduled start on Saturday, keeping him on track to rejoin the Reds rotation next week. Outfielder Nick Senzel (left knee) and infielder Mike Moustakas (right heel) aren’t expected back until after the All-Star break.


After posting a 7.22 ERA in his first 11 starts. Reds right-hander Luis Castillo (2-10, 5.61 ERA) has a 2.19 ERA in four starts since. He’ll be opposed by right-hander Ian Anderson (5-3, 3.33 ERA) who is making his first career start against the Reds.

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