Cincinnati Reds, Vladimir Gutierrez lose to Atlanta Braves

Atlanta Braves center fielder Guillermo Heredia was prepared to run through a wall to beat the Cincinnati Reds on Friday.

Heredia, sprinting straight back on a scorched Jesse Winker line drive in the eighth inning, made a running grab on the warning track to prevent an extra-base hit before crashing into the center-field fence. Heredia was down for about a minute, the wind knocked out after his elbow extended into his chest.

The catch loomed large after the next two Reds batters, Nick Castellanos and Tyler Stephenson, hit a pair of singles. The Reds couldn’t drive either of them in when Joey Votto grounded into a double play and they were handed a 3-2 loss at Great American Ball Park in front of 30,231 fans, their biggest crowd of the season.

"Their center fielder had an unbelievable game and in some ways won that thing," Reds manager David Bell said. "It was pretty fun, not being on our side, but just watching him play."

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Atlanta Braves center fielder Guillermo Heredia (38) stays down after colliding with the wall after catching a deep fly ball off the bat of Cincinnati Reds left fielder Jesse Winker (33) in the eighth inning of the MLB National League game between the Cincinnati Reds and the Atlanta Braves at Great American Ball Park in downtown Cincinnati on Friday, June 25, 2021. The Braves took a 3-2 win over the Reds.

When Winker barreled the eighth-inning cutter, Braves reliever A.J. Minter dropped his head in frustration. The ball left Winker’s bat at 106 mph, but Heredia stunned the crowd with his catch in a one-run game. Bell thought it was a sure double. Minter reacted with a fist pump.

The Reds received three shutout innings from their bullpen and watched Eugenio Suárez make a game-changing defensive play, but they just couldn’t create enough offense. The Reds went 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position.

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