CINCINNATI (AP) — Tyler Mahle lost his no-hit bid on Freddie Freeman’s homer in the seventh, and the Cincinnati Reds blew a big late lead before Scooter Gennett connected in the 12th inning for a 9-7 victory over the Atlanta Braves on Tuesday night.
Gennett hit his second homer of the game off left-hander Max Fried (0-1) for his first career game-ending shot.
Freeman started the Braves’ late seven-run surge with his homer off Mahle, only the third ball the Braves managed to get out of the infield against the rookie right-hander. Freeman connected again as Atlanta scored four times in the ninth.
Jared Hughes (1-2) escaped a two-on threat in the 10th and got the last eight outs.
Off to their worst start since the Great Depression, the 5-18 Reds rallied for their first set of back-to-back wins since last September — a span of 34 games — and got an encouraging performance from their most promising young starter.
The 23-year-old Mahle fanned a career-high 11 with a tailing fastball that caught the Braves gawking. Atlanta leads the majors in runs, but managed only two balls beyond the infield through six innings.
Freeman led off the seventh with a homer on the rookie’s 90th pitch — Mahle turned his head and muttered a word in frustration as the ball left the bat. Kurt Suzuki had a two-run homer later in the inning.
Mahle drew attention on his way to the majors by throwing a no-hitter in Single-A in 2016 and a perfect game last April 22 at Double-A.
Freeman homered again in the ninth inning off Amir Garrett, starting a four-run rally. Ender Inciarte’s bases-loaded, two-out single against Raisel Iglesias deflected off Gennett at second base for a 7-7 tie.
Joey Votto and Gennett hit their first homers — back-to-back solo shots in the fifth off Brandon McCarthy — as the Reds’ sluggish offense showed signs of coming around.
Braves: Manager Brian Snitker plans to give RH reliever Sam Freeman a couple days off. Freeman has made a team-high 14 appearances and struggled during a 10-4 loss on Monday. “This is probably the most he’s been used early in a season in his career,” Snitker said. “It’s a new area for him to navigate through.”
Reds: C Devin Mesoraco was scratched with a stiff neck. … 3B Eugenio Suarez began a rehab assignment with Triple-A Louisville. He has been sidelined since April 8, when he was hit by Jameson Taillon’s pitch and broke his right thumb.
Braves: Matt Wisler (1-0, 1.29 ERA) is 1-1 career against the Reds in two starts and two relief appearances, allowing eight runs in 15 2/3 innings.
Reds: LH Brandon Finnegan (0-2, 11.05) makes his third start. He opened the season on the DL with a strained left biceps. He’s given up nine runs in 7 1/3 innings.