ATLANTA (AP) – Seeing his Reds swept by the Braves for the first time in six years was bad enough for Bryan Price. Watching a replay fail to correct what he believed was an obvious call was too much for the manager to take.
Price was ejected in the first inning and another strong start by Johnny Cueto was wasted as Freddie Freeman’s 10th-inning single lifted Atlanta to a 1-0 win over Cincinnati.
Freeman’s single to the center-field wall scored Jason Heyward from second base with two outs.
Cueto and Atlanta’s Julio Teheran were spectacular. Each allowed only three hits in eight scoreless innings before giving way to relievers.
“It was a great game,” Cueto said through a translator. “We both competed.”
Cueto struck out 11, one shy of his career high and his fourth start of the season with at least nine. He has allowed only one run in his last three starts, leaving him with a 1.15 ERA.
Teheran also has given up just one run in his last three starts. His 1.47 ERA has helped the Braves’ starters lead the majors with their 1.57 mark.
With two outs in the 10th, Heyward hit a single up the middle off J.J. Hoover (1-3). B.J. Upton followed with a grounder that bounced off Hoover’s glove toward shortstop for an infield hit.
“I thought I had it and it kind of hit a second gear and just tipped out of my glove,” Hoover said.
Left-hander Manny Parra was summoned to face Freeman, who hit a second-pitch fastball for a drive that bounced on the warning track beyond center fielder Billy Hamilton’s reach.
Braves players swarmed Freeman at second base following Atlanta’s first three-game sweep of the Reds since 2008.
Price asked for a replay in the first inning after first-base umpire Greg Gibson called Upton safe on a pickoff throw from Cueto. The replays shown on the video board indicated first baseman Joey Votto may have applied the tag before Upton reached the bag.
Price came back out of the dugout after the ruling that the call stands, meaning there was not “clear and convincing” evidence to overturn it. Price was ejected by crew chief Bill Miller, the second-base umpire. Miller also tossed pitcher Homer Bailey, who argued from the Reds’ dugout.
“In the end, you have the biggest Jumbotron in the country out there in center field that would strongly suggest that the runner was out on the pickoff,” Price said. “And then to say that he’s not seems to contradict what everyone in the ballpark thought was an out. I didn’t get it. It didn’t make any sense to me.”
Price came back out of the dugout when he knew that meant an almost sure ejection.
“The play was right there in front of us and he was out. We’re not just going to take this. This isn’t OK,” he said. “When you’ve got something playing repeatedly on the screen that says the runner’s out and they call him safe, as the Cincinnati Reds we’re not just going to sit here and say that’s OK and just take it, chalk it up to whatever.”
“It seemed to me that the runner was out, he wasn’t called out and I didn’t get it,” he said.
Clouds were rolling in when Freeman’s big hit saved the game from an almost certain rain delay.
“I was like, `Yes, we don’t have to go to any more innings and we won’t have a rain delay,”‘ Freeman said. “We were all thinking about it.”
A thunderstorm brought lightning and heavy rain to Turner Field minutes after the game ended.
The Reds couldn’t take advantage of a scoring opportunity in the 10th.
Ryan Ludwick hit a one-out single off David Carpenter and moved to second on Zack Cozart’s two-out single. Pitcher Mike Leake pinch-ran for Ludwick at second base.
Atlanta left-hander Ian Thomas (1-0) ended the threat by getting pinch-hitter Roger Bernadina to pop up.
NOTES: The Reds, playing their first extra-inning game of the season, completed a 5-5 road trip. … RHP Alfredo Simon will face Cubs RHP Jeff Samardzija on Monday in Cincinnati. … The Braves are off on Monday before beginning a series at Miami on Tuesday when LHP Alex Wood will face RHP Jose Fernandez. … The ejections were the first for the Reds since Brandon Phillips on Sept. 1, 2012 at Houston. The last Reds manager to be ejected was Dusty Baker on Aug. 28, 2011.