published Wednesday, May 29th, 2013

Atlanta Braves win on Brian McCann blast 2

Atlanta Braves designated hitter Brian McCann, right, is greeted by teammate Dan Uggla, left, after hitting a solo home against the Toronto Blue Jays during the sixth inning of an interleague baseball game in Toronto.
Atlanta Braves designated hitter Brian McCann, right, is greeted by teammate Dan Uggla, left, after hitting a solo home against the Toronto Blue Jays during the sixth inning of an interleague baseball game in Toronto.
Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

TORONTO — For Atlanta Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez, there's a lot to like about filling out the lineup card in American League ballparks.

Brian McCann hit two home runs, including a solo shot in the 10th inning that lifted the Braves over the Toronto Blue Jays 7-6 on Tuesday.

Freddie Freeman had three hits in the cleanup spot, rookie catcher Evan Gattis homered in the fifth spot and McCann, who started at designated hitter, went deep twice batting in the sixth spot.

"That's a pretty big three right there," Gonzalez said. "Too bad we're not in the American League. We've got to go back and play National League. But it's nice to have those three guys in the lineup all at one time."

McCann and Gattis hit back-to-back homers off Ramon Ortiz in the sixth, giving the Braves a 6-5 lead. It was the fifth time this season Atlanta has hit consecutive home runs.

"It's the way we're built," McCann said. "We hit a lot of home runs and we're going to strike out. But you put up seven runs, there's nothing bad about that at all."

McCann's leadoff drive in the 10th against Thad Weber (0-1) was his sixth homer of 2013. It was McCann's first multihomer game of the season and the ninth of his career. He and Gattis have given the Braves an unexpected pair of sluggers behind the plate.

"It's a special thing we've got going," said reliever Cory Gearrin, who got the pitching win.

Jordan Schafer also homered for the Braves.

Gearrin (2-1) pitched one inning and Craig Kimbrel celebrated his 25th birthday by finishing for his 16th save in 19 chances.

Atlanta scored three times in the first, taking advantage of some sloppy defensive play by the Blue Jays. Freeman opened the scoring with an RBI single, and a second run scored on Jose Bautista's throwing error from right field. One out later, Freeman scored on a throwing error by first baseman Edwin Encarnacion.

Toronto answered with four in the bottom half against Paul Maholm. Encarnacion hit an RBI double, Mark DeRosa's double scored two runs and Colby Rasmus singled home a run.

"The first inning wasn't too great on either side," McCann said.

Atlanta tied it again in the second on Schafer's two-out homer. Bautista made it 5-4 in the fourth by hitting a 62 mph curve from Maholm over the left-field bullpen for his 12th home run.

Maholm allowed five runs and matched a season-high with 10 hits in six innings.

Gattis led off the sixth with his 12th homer and second in two days, tying it at 5. McCann followed with a drive to right to put the Braves ahead.

Toronto tied it again against Anthony Varvaro in the seventh. Bautista led off with a double and scored on a one-out double by J.P. Arencibia. Luis Avilan came on after DeRosa walked, and Arencibia was doubled off second on Rasmus' flare to shortstop, ending the threat.

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