CINCINNATI — Atlanta’s two young pitchers grew up a little bit during a ragged, extra-inning win.
The Braves’ bullpen blew a two-run lead in the ninth inning, but Ender Inciarte hit a sacrifice fly in the 11th for a 5-4 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday night that evened a series between the NL’s worst teams.
The Braves’ focus was more on their young starter and their even younger reliever who handled pressure situations like they were nothing new.
Tyrell Jenkins gave up Jay Bruce’s two-run homer but held the Reds to four hits in six innings during his second major league start — a good sign for a rebuilding team.
“He never lets off the gas,” interim manager Brian Snitker said. “Good, bad or ugly, this kid never gives in. That’s a good trait for a young pitcher.
“He matured a lot tonight. It was a great learning game for him.”
Jenkins, who turns 24 on Wednesday, felt a lot more comfortable in his second start.
“I really felt good,” said Jenkins, who threw 107 pitches. “I didn’t get my first win, but the team got the win. And (Mauricio) Cabrera got his first win.”
Nick Markakis started the winning rally with a single off Tony Cingrani (2-3) and took third on Jeff Francoeur’s single off Blake Wood. Inciarte’s fly to deep center broke the tie.
Cabrera (1-0) got the last five outs for his first career win. The 22-year-old reliever fanned Zack Cozart on a 102 mph fastball to end it.
“He’s something,” Snitker said. “He keeps pitching through stressful innings and it doesn’t bother him a bit. His expression doesn’t change.”
The win evened the teams’ season series at three games apiece. Atlanta is last in the NL at 33-61. Cincinnati is next at 35-59.
Atlanta’s bullpen blew a late lead for the second time in four games. Jim Johnson gave up four hits and a pair of runs in the ninth. Cozart tied it with a single. Johnson, who is filling in as the closer, has blown three of his five save chances.
Gordon Beckham emerged from a deep slump by hitting a tiebreaking two-run homer in the seventh inning for a 4-2 lead. Beckham broke his 0-for-16 slump with a single in the first, and then connected off reliever Michael Lorenzen for his first homer since July 9.
“You certainly want to go after anybody in that situation, but Lorenzen just wasn’t locked in,” Reds manager Bryan Price said.
Since returning from a left hamstring injury, Beckham is 6 for 31 in eight games. … Bruce’s homer gave him a team-high 66 RBIs. The Reds are looking to trade the right fielder this month — they had a deal fall through in the offseason.
Snitker was ejected in the 10th by first base umpire Angel Hernandez. Adonis Garcia singled and was picked off by Cingrani. Snitker argue that the left-hander had balked.
Bengals cornerback Adam “Pacman” Jones was on the field for batting practice. He talked to several players and signed autographs for fans.
Braves: RHP Shae Simmons felt good a day after he threw nearly 30 pitches in a simulated game. He’ll start a rehab assignment in a couple of days. Simmons is recovering from Tommy John surgery a year ago.
Reds: 2B Brandon Phillips was back in the starting lineup. He missed two games with a strained right calf, returned on Monday night and left after tweaking it in the fifth inning. … RHP Jon Moscot had Tommy John surgery. He went 0-3 with an 8.02 ERA in five starts for the Reds. He also had two stints on the disabled list.
Braves: Lucas Harrell (1-1) makes his fourth start. He’s faced the Reds once before, allowing two runs in five innings in 2013.
Reds: Anthony DeSclafani (4-0) makes his eighth start. He’s had six quality starts, the most on the staff. DeSclafani is 4-0 in his last five starts with a 2.67 ERA.