Freddie Freeman hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth inning to put the Atlanta Braves back in the playoffs with a 4-3 victory over the Miami Marlins on Tuesday night in Atlanta.
Freeman’s dramatic drive off Mike Dunn clinched at least a National League wild-card berth for the Braves, who squandered a big lead in the wild-card race with a huge collapse last September.
“There was never any doubt,” Chipper Jones said during the clubhouse celebration. “We knew that last year was somewhat of a fluke.”
Craig Kimbrel (3-1) worked a scoreless inning to help the Braves win their 22nd straight game started by Kris Medlen. The streak is the longest in the majors since the New York Yankees won 22 consecutive games started by Whitey Ford in 1950 and ’53.
Returning to the postseason helps wipe away some of last season’s frustration for the Braves, who blew an 8 1/2-game lead in the wild-card standings. They missed the playoffs after one of the biggest collapses in baseball history.
Clearing the bases:
Reds manager Dusty Baker had a mini-stroke in addition to his irregular heartbeat last week and will need another week of rest before he’s able to rejoin the team for the final regular-season series and the playoffs. … The Giants have no plans to bring back suspended outfielder Melky Cabrera for the postseason if the club is still playing when he is eligible to return … Rangers center fielder Josh Hamilton said he is rooting for Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera to win the A.L. Triple Crown. “I’m excited about it,” Hamilton said … Rangers right-hander Yu Darvish was scratched from his start Tuesday against Oakland because of neck stiffness.