Sunday October 4th, 2015 7:50PM

Kimbrel sets Braves saves record in 5-2 win

By The Associated Press
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PHOENIX -- Nine days past his 26th birthday, Craig Kimbrel is the Atlanta Braves' career leader in saves.<br /> <br /> That number figures to get a lot bigger before he's through.<br /> <br /> Kimbrel got the final four outs in the Braves' 5-2 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Friday night, earning his 16th save of the season (in 18 tries) and 155th of his career. That's one more than John Smoltz.<br /> <br /> Those 155 saves have come in 172 opportunities.<br /> <br /> "I've been a part of a lot of good teams and had a lot of opportunities," Kimbrel said. "Having the chance my first full season to be a closer, that doesn't happen very often and that's why we're sitting here talking today, because I had that opportunity a lot of guys don't have.<br /> <br /> "I feel blessed and grateful for it."<br /> <br /> Kimbrel had one save in 2010, 46 in 2011, 42 in 2012 and 50 in 2013.<br /> <br /> "I've played with him for four years and some change and he's already the franchise leader in saves," teammate Jason Heyward said. "That's pretty cool."<br /> <br /> Hayward drove in three runs, two with a home run, and Andrelton Simmons doubled in a run for the Braves.<br /> <br /> Julio Teheran (6-3) gave up two runs and five hits in seven innings to win his fourth straight decision.<br /> <br /> Didi Gregorius became the first Diamondback to hit leadoff home runs in consecutive starts. He did it Wednesday in Colorado, sat out Thursday's game, then did it again Friday.<br /> <br /> Arizona's Brandon McCarthy (1-8) allowed three runs and nine hits in 6 1-3 innings, striking out nine and walking one.<br /> <br /> McCarthy singled in the tying run in the fifth, his first career RBI.<br /> <br /> Kimbrel entered the game with two outs and a runner at first in the eighth inning and got his former Atlanta teammate Martin Prado looking to end the inning.<br /> <br /> With a three-run lead in the ninth, Kimbrel got Aaron Hill and David Peralta to fly out, then Tuffy Gosewich popped out to end it.<br /> <br /> It was just his third career four-out save.<br /> <br /> "He hadn't pitched since last Saturday," manager Fredi Gonzalez said, "so we were able to do that."<br /> <br /> The Braves broke a 2-2 tie in the seventh when, with one out, Heyward drew the only walk McCarthy allowed. Simmons lashed a double to the corner in left, scoring Heyward from first.<br /> <br /> The Atlanta leadoff hitter used his long arms to connect with a ball that was high and outside and drove it to the opposite field.<br /> <br /> "It was a pitch I don't expect to get hit at all," McCarthy said. "It was right where I wanted it. It was a hard four-seamer up and away and I wanted to use it to establish something else. He took a good swing at it and hit a home run. I was pretty surprised."<br /> <br /> They added another run in the ninth on Heyward's RBI single.<br /> <br /> Right fielder Gerardo Parra robbed Simmons of an extra-base hit and probably saved a run with a diving grab in the ninth.<br /> <br /> Atlanta took the lead in the fifth when Jordan Schafer doubled over third base to start the inning. He scored on Heyward's home run to left that made it 2-1.<br /> <br /> Gregorius, called up from Triple-A Reno on Tuesday, opened the game with a shot just over the fence in right.<br /> <br /> Teheran didn't allow another hit until Peralta, another recent arrival from the minors, led off the fifth with a ground-rule double. Teheran retired the next two batters, but McCarthy - 2 for 23 for the season to that point - slapped a single between shortstop and third to bring Peralta home and tie it 2-2.<br /> <br /> Ex-Diamondback Justin Upton, greeted with a mix of boos and cheers, struck out three times against McCarthy, then flied out to the fence in right and drove in a run with a bloop single in the ninth.<br /> <br /> NOTES: In the second day of the amateur draft, Arizona chose OF Matt Railey of North Florida Christian Academy. He's committed to Florida State. ... Braves RHP Jordan Walden, recovering from a strained left hamstring, began a rehab assignment Thursday night for Triple-A Gwinnett against Columbus, facing four batters in two-thirds inning, giving up a run and two hits. He struck out the first three batters, but the third reached on a wild pitch. The next batter homered. ... On Saturday night, the Braves have RHP Ervin Santana (5-2, 4.10 ERA) facing LHP Wade Miley (3-6, 4.85).
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