Braves, trailing by five runs, score six runs in bottom of the ninth to walk off winners

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The Braves never counted themselves out of Sunday afternoon’s series finale against the Marlins, even as they entered the bottom of the ninth trailing by five runs. They rallied for six runs, all with two outs, to steal a 10-9 victory before heading out on a brief road trip to Philadelphia and Boston.

Marlins closer Brad Zigler struck out Dansby Swanson to start the inning, but then walked Ryan Flaherty and gave up a single to Ozzie Albies, putting runners on first and third. Ronald Acuña lifted a sacrifice fly to score a run, making it a 9-5 game. With Freddie Freeman up, Albies took second base on defensive indifference, then Freeman reached on an infield single and a throwing error, scoring Albies. Freeman advanced to second base on defensive indifference, then Nick Markakis singled, closing the gap to 9-7. That marked the end of the line for Ziegler as Marlins manager Don Mattingly brought in Tayron Guerrero.

The bleeding continued with Guerrero in the game as he walked Tyler Flowers. Kurt Suzuki followed up with a single, plating Markakis and moving Suzuki to second base. With Johan Camargo batting, Guerrero uncorked a wild pitch, then ended up walking Camargo on four pitches to load the bases. Swanson, who started the inning by striking out, singled to left field, bringing home Flowers to tie the game and Suzuki to win it.

As the Braves note on Twitter, Sunday’s comeback was their largest ninth-inning comeback in exactly eight years. Brooks Conrad memorably finished a seven-run rally with a walk-off grand slam against the Reds on May 20, 2010.

The Phillies lost on Sunday, so the Braves extend their lead in the NL East to 1.5 games. This is turning out to be a very interesting division to watch. The fourth-place Nationals are only four games out of first place.

O’Day retires following 15 seasons for 6 major league teams

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ATLANTA (AP) Right-hander Darren O'Day, who posted a 4.15 ERA in 28 games with the Atlanta Braves in 2022, announced Monday he is retiring after 15 seasons for six teams in the major leagues.

O’Day said on his Twitter account “it’s finally time to hang ’em up.”

“The mental, physical and time demands have finally outweighed my love for the game,” O’Day said.

O’Day, 40, featured an unconventional sidearm delivery. He was 42-21 with a 2.59 ERA in 644 games, all in relief. He made his major league debut in 2008 with the Angels and pitched seven seasons, from 2012-18, for the Baltimore Orioles.

He posted a 4.43 ERA in 30 postseason games, including the 2010 World Series with the Texas Rangers.

O’Day also pitched for the New York Mets and New York Yankees. He pitched for the Braves in 2019-20 before returning for his second stint with the team last season. He became a free agent following the season.

He set a career high with six saves for Baltimore in 2015, when he was 6-2 with a 1.52 ERA and was an AL All-Star.