Braves beat Blue Jays in wild contest

Atlanta 4, Toronto 3 (10 inn.)

 

ATLANTA — Jason Heyward stole third base and scored on catcher J.P. Arencibia’s throwing error in the 10th inning as the Atlanta Braves beat the Toronto Blue Jays 4-3 on Friday night for their fifth consecutive victory.

Heyward opened the 10th with an infield single off Francisco Cordero (1-4) and moved to second on pinch-hitter Jack Wilson’s sacrifice. With rookie Andrelton Simmons at the plate, Heyward took off for third base. Arencibia’s throw skipped past third baseman Brett Lawrie and into left field, allowing Heyward to score the winning run.

Cristhian Martinez (3-1) pitched a scoreless inning for the Braves, who remained one game behind first-place Washington in the NL East.

Jose Bautista homered for Toronto.

Toronto pitchers issued seven walks, including four to Dan Uggla.

Atlanta starter Brandon Beachy also was wild. He gave up two runs on three hits and a season-high five walks in five-plus innings.

TODAY’S GAME

WHAT: Toronto Blue Jays (Drew Hutchison, 4.35, 5-2) at Atlanta Braves (Tommy Hanson, 3.71, 6-4)

TIME/TV: 4:05 p.m., FS South

SMOLTZ’S NO. 29 RETIRED DURING CEREMONY

ATLANTA — John Smoltz exhaled heavily and shook his head minutes after his No. 29 was retired by the Atlanta Braves on Friday night.

“I’m glad that’s over,” Smoltz said. “That’s a doubleheader I just pitched.”

Smoltz said he wasn’t prepared for the emotions he felt when the Braves made his number the ninth to be retired by the franchise.

“Honestly, I thought I was going to lose it when I started talking about playing for the jersey,” Smoltz said. “That’s something I hope more people can take pride in, wearing a jersey. For some people it’s just a jersey. For me it was my life.”

Former manager Bobby Cox called Smoltz “the biggest of the big-game pitchers.”

Smoltz, Tom Glavine and Greg Maddux were the leaders of a terrific pitching staff that helped the Braves win 14 division titles in a row from 1991-2005 and the 1995 World Series. Smoltz was the only player to be a part of each division title.

Smoltz’s credentials include a 213-155 record with 154 saves and a 3.33 ERA.

– Associated Press

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