Braves win with key plays by rookies Swanson, Camargo

It was like old times Friday for Braves shortstop Dansby Swanson and third baseman Johan Camargo.

The pair played infield for Double-A Mississippi last season and are doing it with the Braves now that Camargo is getting regular playing time. Each made superlative defensive plays to hold off Brewers rallies during the 5-4 Braves victory at SunTrust Park.

“Both those young guys on that side of the infield — all those plays are something else,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said.

The Brewers had trimmed a 5-1 deficit to 5-4 in the eighth inning and had runners on first and second base when Camargo blunted the rally with his glove.

Jesus Aguilar hit a sharp ground ball own the third-base line that left his bat at 101.3 mph, according to Statcast data. Camargo backhanded the ball cleanly and threw to second baseman Brandon Phillips to start an inning-ending double play.

“It was a hard-hit ball,” Camargo said through an interpreter. “He squared it up pretty good. I was just trying to stay focused on the game the whole time. I feel very fortunate and blessed that I was able to make the play. I’m glad that I was able to have good vision during it.”

The Brewers threatened to tie the score again in the ninth inning when Eric Thames led off with a double against Braves right-hander Arodys Vizcaino. Swanson erased him with an exceptional play on a fielder’s choice.

Thames broke for third base on Domingo Santana’s ground ball up the middle. Swanson ranged to his and fielded it on the bounce before immediately plating his feet, spinning and throwing to Camargo for the tag out on a close play.

“That play Dansby made, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen anything like that,” Snitker said. “A play like that, the runner, that ball’s up the middle you go to third base. To have the guts to make that play is the biggest thing to me. The conviction. There wasn’t any hesitation.”

Swanson said he was thinking about making the play when Santana went to the plate.

“It’s kind of crazy how you can process something before it happens and when it does happen, it’s just reaction,” Swanson said.

With the lead runner eliminated, Vizcaino got the next batter, Travis Shaw, to fly out. Manny Pina followed with a soft liner that Swanson snagged with a diving catch for the final out of the game.

Swanson and Camargo, both 23-years old, were with Double-A Mississippi together for 84 games last season before Swanson was promoted to the Braves.

“I feel like Dansby and I always play hard,” Camargo said. “That is something that we have. We are always trying to go hard and we are playing focused. I had the opportunity to get familiar with him last year in Double-A and that time we spent playing together kind of gave me an opportunity to really kind of learn his tendencies.

“He’s always prepared. He’s always getting good jumps when the ball leaves the bat. Today was kind of a perfect example when he got the jump-off and got to that ball and made the play at third.”