- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 22, 2014

ATLANTA (AP) - Reed Johnson thought the ball might be caught, so he went back to tag at second base.

Actually, the Braves never had a chance.

Johnson’s base-running blunder in the ninth inning cost the Miami Marlins a chance to score the go-ahead, and Atlanta won 4-2 on Evan Gattis‘ two-run homer in the 10th inning Monday night.

“I feel terrible,” said Johnson, who entered the game as a pinch runner.

The Braves were up 2-1 heading to the ninth, and brought in Craig Kimbrel to close it out. But the hard-throwing right-hander had another shaky outing, two days after being yanked when he couldn’t get three outs in a non-save situation against the Mets.

This time, Gattis contributed to the troubles - called for catcher interference when a swing ticked his glove - before pinch-hitter Derek Dietrich lined one off the wall in left-center for a game-tying double.

Miami probably would’ve had a shot at scoring two runs, but Johnson’s decision to tag caused Adeiny Hechevarria, running all the way from first, to slow up so he didn’t pass the guy ahead of him.

Hechevarria was held at third and never got any farther. With runners at second and third and no outs, Kimbrel struck out the side to keep the scored tied at 2.

“If I had it to do over again, obviously I’d just take off in that situation and Hech maybe gets sent right there,” Johnson said. “Unfortunately, you look at it on replay, it was clearly over (the outfielder’s) head. I wish I would have got a better read. It would have been a different result.”

Dan Uggla led off the 10th with a single up the middle off Arquimedes Caminero (0-1). Gattis followed with a shot into the left field seats for his fifth homer of the season - and first career walkoff homer, though he had numerous big hits his rookie year.

“It feels good,” Gattis said. “It feels different when you hit one and know the game is over.”

Miami also squandered a chance in the eighth after Uggla botched a potential inning-ending double play. Second-base umpire Marvin Hudson initially called the runner out, ruling that Uggla caught the ball but dropped it attempting to make the relay throw to first.

Marlins manager Mike Redmond challenged. After a delay of nearly 5 minutes, the call finally came down from the replay center: all runners safe. The video showed Uggla making the catch, but losing control as he grabbed the ball with his right hand - before he actually went into his throwing motion.

That left Miami with the bases loaded and only one out. But Walden fanned Casey McGehee on a called third strike and got Jones on a grounder to Uggla.

Coming off his first career complete game, Julio Teheran turned in yet another stellar performance by Atlanta’s rotation, allowing only one run and five hits in seven innings. He actually lowered the cumulative ERA for Atlanta’s starters, already the best in the majors, from 1.54 to 1.52.

Andrelton Simmons also homered for the Braves, and Jason Heyward put Atlanta up 2-1 with a seventh-inning single off Mike Dunn - only Heyward’s second hit in 19 at-bats off a left-hander.

Anthony Varvaro (1-0) worked a scoreless inning for the win, first-place Atlanta’s eighth in the last 10 games.

Garrett Jones homered leading off the second for Miami’s first run, just the ninth homer surrendered by the Braves.

Miami starter Tom Koehler matched his career high with eight strikeouts in 6 1-3 innings. He allowed five hits and two runs.

“He gave us exactly what we needed,” Redmond said. “We needed a good start and he gave it to us.”

NOTES: Florida C Jarrod Saltalamacchia was back at Turner Field for the first time since he was traded by the Braves in 2007. He expected to be a little emotional when he stepped on the field. “This is where it started with me,” he said. … Miami’s Jose Fernandez (2-1) will start Tuesday against Atlanta’s Alex Wood (2-2).


Follow Paul Newberry on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pnewberry1963



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