Jason Heyward steals third base and scores the winning run on an error in the 10th inning to give the Braves their fifth straight victory.
ATLANTA — Jason Heyward stole third base and scored on catcher J.P. Arencibia’s throwing error in the 10th inning as the Atlanta Braves beat the Toronto Blue Jays 4-3 on Friday night for their fifth straight victory.
Heyward opened the 10th with an infield single off Francisco Cordero (1-4) and moved to second on pinch-hitter Jack Wilson’s sacrifice. With rookie Andrelton Simmons at the plate, Heyward took off for third base. Arencibia’s throw skipped past third baseman Brett Lawrie and into left field, allowing Heyward to score the winning run.
Cristhian Martinez (3-1) pitched a scoreless inning for the Braves, who remained one game behind first-place Washington in the NL East.
Heyward scored on Chad Beck’s balk in the sixth to give the Braves a 3-2 lead. The Blue Jays tied the game in the eighth when Edwin Encarnacion doubled and scored on Yunel Escobar’s groundout.
Jose Bautista homered for Toronto.
Each team stranded runners at third in the ninth.
Rajai Davis led off the inning with an infield single off Craig Kimbrel and stole second on pinch-hitter David Cooper’s strikeout. Davis also stole third before Kimbrel struck out Lawrie and ended the inning on a fly to left by Colby Rasmus.
Atlanta’s Martin Prado doubled to left field off Jason Frasor in the bottom of the ninth and moved to third on Frasor’s wild pitch before Dan Uggla struck out to end the inning.
Toronto pitchers issued seven walks, including four to Uggla. Kyle Drabek gave up three runs on six hits and four walks in five innings.
Atlanta starter Brandon Beachy also was wild. He gave up two runs on three hits and a season-high five walks in five-plus innings.
Drabek began the night third in the American League with 41 walks and added two in the third inning to help the Braves take a 1-0 lead. Beachy, who had two hits, singled and moved to third on Michael Bourn’s double. Drabek loaded the bases by walking Brian McCann with two outs before also walking Uggla to force in Beachy.
Beachy couldn’t retire a batter in the sixth. Bautista’s 16th homer, into the left-field seats, tied the score at 1. Beachy gave up a single to Encarnacion and a walk to Kelly Johnson, his final batter. Encarnacion scored later in the inning on Arencibia’s grounder.
The Braves regained the lead with two runs off Drabek in the sixth. Uggla led off the inning with his third walk and scored on Heyward’s double to center. Heyward moved to third on Eric Hinske’s fly ball before Beck walked Simmons. One out later, Beck balked as Simmons took off trying to steal second, allowing Heyward to score the go-ahead run.
Freddie Freeman, who had been out since bruising his left index finger Wednesday, struck out as a pinch-hitter in the sixth and remained in the game at first base.
The Braves retired John Smoltz’s No. 29 in a pregame ceremony. Smoltz also threw out the first pitch, which he later confirmed was a four-seam fastball to McCann.
During his speech, Smoltz mentioned Blue Jays manager John Farrell, who was Boston’s pitching coach in 2009 when Smoltz pitched for the Red Sox during his final season.
NOTES: Blue Jays 1B coach Torey Lovullo was away from the team for personal reasons. Coaching assistant Luis Rivera filled in. … Attendance was 42,488. … Braves 3B Chipper Jones (bruised left calf) had one hit and two walks as he began an injury rehabilitation assignment with Class-A Rome. Atlanta manager Fredi Gonzalez said Jones’ assignment could last three days. … Encarnacion, who had been out since he was hit by a pitch on his right wrist Sunday, started at first base. … Davis in LF started after missing one game with a jammed left middle finger. … Toronto rookie RHP Drew Hutchison (5-2) will face RHP Tommy Hanson (6-4) on Saturday.