Short-handed Braves rally in 10th to knock off Cubs 4-3
CHICAGO (AP) A gaffe by the front office left the Atlanta Braves a player short. The bullpen blew a lead and Julio Teheran's great outing was seemingly wasted.
Then the struggling Braves showed some fight to pick up a rare victory under odd circumstances.
Daniel Castro singled and scored on Nick Markakis' sacrifice fly in the 10th inning, and the Braves beat the major league-leading Chicago Cubs 4-3 on Sunday.
Jason Grilli pitched a scoreless 10th for his second save and Atlanta secured its sixth win in 24 games despite squandering a 3-0 lead after Teheran's seven scoreless innings.
''I was able to go out there for (as long) as I can,'' said Teheran, who struck out nine. ''Seven innings, that's pretty good for a team and we're glad we didn't miss the guy that was missing.''
Atlanta's morning transaction snafu - Major League Baseball voided Emilio Bonifacio's promotion from the minors because he wasn't eligible for the 25-man roster - left the Braves down a player.
''We're going to battle with what we've got,'' said Mallex Smith, who had three hits, including a single in the 10th while batting ninth, behind the pitcher.
Addison Russell's one-out single in the ninth off Arodys Vizcaino (1-0) tied it for the Cubs, who scored two in the eighth.
But then Hector Rondon (0-1) allowed two hits in the 10th as Chicago's four-game winning streak was snapped.
''I really appreciate the way our guys came back once again,'' Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. ''Had a chance to win the game. . I really like the fight in our group.''
Nothing has come easy for the Braves in this rebuilding season, and they made their latest victory more difficult than it could have been.
Vizcaino issued a leadoff walk in the ninth to Ben Zobrist, then a bad pickoff throw allowed Zobrist to advance to third. He scored on Russell's single to right.
That atoned for Russell booting what should have been a double-play grounder in the sixth that led to two runs.
''There's really no excuses,'' Russell said. ''I've got to make that play right there.''
Teheran allowed just two singles before the Atlanta bullpen faltered.
Matt Szczur's leadoff bunt single in the eighth led to a run on Jason Heyward's groundout. Dexter Fowler doubled and scored on Kris Bryant's single.
Bryant also struck out three times in his first game since turning his right ankle Thursday.
Cubs right-hander John Lackey retired his first nine batters and didn't allow a hit through four innings. He gave up three runs and three hits over eight innings as the Cubs fell to 17-6 and the Braves overcame an embarrassing day for the front office.
Bonifacio was called up from Triple-A Gwinnett and was in the clubhouse before the game when the Braves were informed of their mistake. Bonifacio, released on April 6 and re-signed to a minor league deal April 10, can't return to the big league roster for 30 days.
With reliever Chris Withrow already headed to the minors, Atlanta had 24 players. But the Braves won for the second time in three games on a windy, 44-degree day.
''I felt really good throwing out there,'' Teheran said, ''even if it was cold.''
Braves: Another player will be called up before Monday's game.
Cubs: Bryant acknowledged he normally tapes his ankles, but ''I didn't do it the last three or four games because I was feeling good.'' Bryant learned his lesson. ''Baseball gods are telling me to continue to tape my ankles,'' he said.
Heyward sported pink shorts and the matching sport coat as part of Maddon's ''minimalist zany suit'' theme for the team's trip to Pittsburgh. David Ross was asked where he got his American flag jacket, with stars on one side and stripes on the other. ''The trash,'' he replied.
Braves: Manager Fredi Gonzalez said the team will likely call up RHP Mike Foltynewicz to start Monday night at the New York Mets against RHP Bartolo Colon (1-1, 3.42 ERA).
Cubs: RHP Jason Hammel (3-0, 0.75) carries the NL's lowest ERA into Pittsburgh on Monday night for a matchup of the top teams in the NL Central. RHP Gerrit Cole (2-2. 2.78) starts for the Pirates.