May 7, 2013; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Atlanta Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez (33) during the seventh inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park. The Reds defeated the Braves 5-4. Mandatory Credit: Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports
CINCINNATI -- Atlanta Braves closer Craig Kimbrel was one strike away from his 100th career save when Devin Mesoraco and Shin-Soo Choo hit back-to-back home runs in the bottom of the ninth, lifting the Cincinnati Reds to a dramatic 5-4 victory Tuesday at Great American Ball Park.
With the Braves leading 4-3, Kimbrel (0-1) struck out the first two batters he faced. However, Mesoraco, a pinch hitter, launched a 3-2 pitch just over a leaping B.J. Upton and into the center field seats to tie the score. It was his first homer of the season.
On a 2-1 pitch, Choo hit his seventh home run of the year, his second of the night.
The start of the night's game was delayed 35 minutes due to rain.
Braves starter Kris Medlen allowed two runs and four hits in seven innings. He fanned six.
Atlanta catcher Brian McCann, making his second start since being reinstated from the disabled list, went 1-for-4 with two RBIs.
Choo hit a solo homer in the third, while Joey Votto extended his hitting streak to 10 games with a sixth-inning double.
The Braves led 4-2 in the eighth before Cincinnati shortstop Zack Cozart reached on an infield single with one out. Cozart later scored on Brandon Phillips' sacrifice fly to make it a one-run game. With runners on first and third and two outs, Eric O'Flaherty fanned Todd Frazier to end the inning.
Cincinnati starter Homer Bailey labored for five innings, allowing four runs on five hits and four walks. He struck out seven.
Bailey wasn't sharp coming out of the rain delay.
Andrelton Simmons, who hit two home runs in Monday night's Braves win, began the game with a shallow pop fly that caromed off Cozart's glove for a double. Bailey issued two walks to load the bases.
With two outs, McCann lined a 3-2 pitch into center field, driving home two runs to put the Braves in front. Uggla's RBI single to left drove home Freeman and made it 3-0.
Bailey, who needed 41 pitches to get through the first inning, recorded his first six outs via strikeout. An elevated pitch count (93, including 56 strikes) prevented him from pitching beyond the fifth.
The first hit off Medlen came when Choo launched an 0-2 pitch into the right field seats for a solo homer with two outs in the third.
Donald Lutz, pinch-hitting for Bailey, drove home the Reds' second run with a single in the fifth.
Notes: Reds manager Dusty Baker passed Tommy Lasorda for 18th on the all-time managerial wins list with his 1,600th victory. ... Cincinnati's Jack Hannahan started at third base for the fourth time this season. It wasn't so much a day off for 3B Todd Frazier as it was an effort to get Hannahan some at-bats, Baker said. ... Braves 3B Juan Francisco returned to the starting lineup after missing three games with a mild sprained ankle. ... Atlanta backup C Evan Gattis made his second straight start in left field, in an effort to get Gattis at-bats now that McCann is back from the DL.