Braves rally in ninth, fall short in fifteenth to Orioles

Braves' Johan Camargo kicked off the ninth-inning rally with a single to right field. He’d go on to score off a single by Ozzie Albies.
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Braves' Johan Camargo kicked off the ninth-inning rally with a single to right field. He’d go on to score off a single by Ozzie Albies.

Credit: Tom Szczerbowski

Credit: Tom Szczerbowski

The Braves are no strangers to late-game comebacks.  Earlier this season, they overcame a 7-3 score against Cincinnati on April 24 to force extra innings and scored six runs in the ninth inning to beat Miami 10-9 May 20.

The home team seemed on the verge of another ninth-inning walk-off win Friday night but couldn’t finish the job this time against the Orioles.

The game appeared to be over in the top of the ninth after the Orioles scored six runs off relievers Dan Winkler and Sam Freeman to take a commanding 7-3 lead, but fans should know by now not to leave SunTrust Park early before the final out even if the Braves are down by multiple runs.

“We were an out away from winning the game in the ninth inning,” manager Brian Snitker said. “We had opportunities. We had guys in scoring position. We just couldn’t get a big hit.”

John Camargo ignited the rally with a leadoff single to right field. Danny Santana followed with a double to center field, and Ender Inciarte strolled to first after being hit by a pitch from reliever Zach Britton.

With no outs and the bases loaded, the first-place Braves were poised for another improbable comeback. Ozzie Albies singled to right to score Camargo, and a single to center by Freddie Freeman scored Santana and Inciarte.

With every swing, the Braves were fanning the rally flames, and Britton was feeling heat. Nick Markakis drove Britton’s last pitch deep into right field for the tying run, but Freeman was thrown out trying to score from first base. Still, the Braves had momentum in their favor.

At least they did until reliever Darren O’Day entered the game, struck out Tyler Flowers and got Dansby Swanson on a fly-out to send the game into extra innings.

Both teams went scoreless until Manny Machado hit a two-run homer in the Orioles’ three-run 15th inning.

“(There was) no doubt in my mind that we were going to come out a winner,” Winkler said. “But baseball’s baseball, and it didn’t work out that way.”