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MLB playoffs: Freddie Freeman leads Braves over Reds in 13 innings

Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman (C) celebrates with teammates after knocking in the winning run in the 13th inning against the Cincinnati Reds during their National League Wild Card Series game Wednesday at Truist Park in Atlanta. Photo by Tami Chappell/UPI
Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman (C) celebrates with teammates after knocking in the winning run in the 13th inning against the Cincinnati Reds during their National League Wild Card Series game Wednesday at Truist Park in Atlanta. Photo by Tami Chappell/UPI | License Photo

Sept. 30 (UPI) -- All-Star first baseman Freddie Freeman plated the winning run in the 13th inning to end the longest scoreless duel in postseason history and give the Atlanta Braves a 1-0 win over the Cincinnati Reds in the opener of their NL Wild Card Series on Wednesday at Truist Park.

With the victory, the NL East champion Braves took the opening game of a playoff series for the first time since the 2001 NL Division Series. Atlanta can wrap up the best-of-three series Thursday.

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If the Braves win the second game of the series Thursday, the club will snap a record-tying streak of 10 consecutive playoff round losses.

Cy Young contenders Trevor Bauer of the Reds and the Braves' Max Fried were locked in a pitching showdown before Freeman's game-winning single in extra innings. The teams combined for a playoff-record 37 strikeouts, including 21 by the Braves.

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After a pair of singles in the 13th inning against Archie Bradley, Freeman drove an 85-mph slider from Amir Garrett into center field to end a game that lasted close to five hours. Freeman's single scored pinch runner Cristian Pache from third.

Bauer allowed only two hits and struck out 12 over 7 2/3 innings. He became the first pitcher in MLB history to record 12 strikeouts with no walks, while giving up no runs and two or fewer hits in a playoff start. Bradley (0-1) was saddled with the loss.

Fried gave up six hits and had five strikeouts across seven innings. Braves reliever A.J. Minter (1-0) escaped a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the top of the 13th to earn the win.

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The Braves host the Reds for Game 2 of the series at noon EST Thursday at Truist Park. Luis Castillo is expected to make his first postseason start for Cincinnati, while rookie right-hander Ian Anderson is projected to take the mound for Atlanta.

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