ATLANTA -- For the first time since Aug. 24, the Atlanta Braves celebrated a home victory, and they won in dramatic style Tuesday night.
Shortstop Andrelton Simmons singled home the winning run with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning for a 3-2 win over the Toronto Blue Jays that snapped a record 12-game losing streak for the Braves at Turner Field.
"Oh my, it feels good," said Simmons, who had hit into double plays his previous two times at the plate. "It's been a long time since we won here. Everyone is happy."
Third baseman Adonis Garcia led off the ninth with an infield single against rookie Aaron Sanchez (7-6). Catcher A.J. Pierzynski immediate followed with his third hit of the game, moving pinch runner Todd Cunningham to third.
After a groundout by center fielder Cameron Maybin, Simmons slapped a single into right field with the infield playing in and was mobbed by his teammates as they enjoyed a home victory for the first time since defeating the Colorado Rockies 5-3 three weeks ago.
The Blue Jays had allowed pinch runner Christian Bethancourt to take second base with Maybin up and could have elected to intentionally walk Simmons to set up a potential double play or force at home.
Manager John Gibbons elected not to and Simmons made the Blue Jays pay.
Simmons swung at the first pitch, a 96-mph two-seam fastball, and hit the ball in a perfect spot to record the fourth game-ending hit of his career.
"We weren't going to walk Simmons," said Gibbons, who felt he had the perfect pitcher on the mound in Sanchez, who has a sinking fastball.
"I was just trying to make contact and I got a pitch out over the plate that I could handle," said Simmons, who is batting .406 (13-for-32) with six RBIs in his past nine games.
"He wants to be in those (pressure) situations," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "He put the ball in play and we found a hole there."
The Blue Jays (82-62) at least maintained their three-game lead in the American League as the New York Yankees lost at Tampa Bay.
"I just didn't get the job done," said Sanchez, who was working his second inning. "I felt like the pitch was down and he put a good swing on it. He hit it where he wanted to hit it. The infield is in, that didn't help.
"It is what it is and you move on. I got a couple of weak ground balls that inning and hung one to Pierzynski and he smacked it, which he should have."
Arodys Vizcaino (3-1) was credited with the victory after pitching a scoreless top of the ninth for the Braves (57-88).
He was the fifth reliever used by Gonzalez and they combined for 3 1-3 scoreless innings with no hits, one walk and three strikeouts.
"We did a good job matching up the whole way," the manager said.
The Blue Jays tied it when first baseman Justin Smoak led off the sixth inning by picking on an outside 2-2 fastball from right-hander Julio Teheran and lining his 16th homer of the season just over the left field fence.
Teheran, who was pulled two outs later after a single and a walk, gave up five hits and four walks while striking out seven. Only 66 of his 113 pitches were strikes.
Blue Jays starter Mark Buehrle, who received a cortisone shot in his shoulder last week, also wasn't involved in the decision. The left-hander was pulled for a pinch hitter after five innings and only 66 pitches. He allowed five hits and two runs (one earned).
Second baseman Cliff Pennington put Toronto ahead with a two-out RBI single in the second inning. The Blue Jays ended up leaving the bases loaded, though, and the Braves soon had the lead.
The Braves scored in the bottom of the second when second baseman Daniel Castro followed a double and a single with an RBI grounder. Then an error by Smoak after a leadoff double by right fielder Nick Markakis made it 2-1 in the third.
NOTES: The Blue Jays sent RHP Drew Hutchison, their Opening Day starter, to the bullpen. He is 13-4 but has a 5.33 ERA in 27 starts. ... Blue Jays 1B Edwin Encarnacion was held out of the lineup for the second consecutive game because of sore left middle finger. ... Toronto LHP David Price (15-5, 2.46 ERA) will start the middle game of the interleague series on Wednesday. He is 6-1 with a 2.28 ERA in eight starts since being acquired from Detroit. ... Braves RHP Shelby Miller (5-14, 2.86 ERA) will attempt to end a winless streak that has reached 21 games. ... The Braves won two of three games in Toronto during April. ... RHP Jason Grilli, out for the season because of an Achilles tear, is the Braves' nominee for the Robert Clemente Award. RF Jose Bautista is the Blue Jays' nominee for the award. ... With a day off in Atlanta on Monday, the Blue Jays as a team took in the NFL's Falcons-Philadelphia Eagles game at the Georgia Dome.