Game of the day: Braves 6, Reds 5: A vote of confidence: Freeman enjoys big day

2013-07-12T00:00:00Z Game of the day: Braves 6, Reds 5: A vote of confidence: Freeman enjoys big dayThe Associated Press The Associated Press
July 12, 2013 12:00 am  • 

ATLANTA - Braves fans set a record by voting Freddie Freeman to the All-Star Game.

The big first baseman found a way to say thanks.

Freeman celebrated his newly won All-Star berth by driving in four runs with three hits and Atlanta beat Mat Latos and the Cincinnati Reds 6-5 on Thursday night.

Freeman held off Dodgers rookie Yasiel Puig to win the fan voting for the final spot on NL All-Star roster. He received more than 19 million votes, a record. The support from the fans continued into the game as he received a long ovation before his first at-bat.

"I wasn't expecting it," Freeman said, adding the ovation was "pretty cool."

After backing out of the batter's box, Freeman approached the plate and with fans still chanting "Freddie! Freddie!" he hit a two-run double to center field on his first pitch to drive in Andrelton Simmons and Justin Upton.

"A load off the shoulders," Freeman said. "They voted for you. You want to go out and deliver for them."

The first baseman drove in two runs with a first-inning double and added run-scoring singles in the second and fourth innings.

Reds manager Dusty Baker said it was Freeman's day.

"He's riding high," Baker said. "The All-Star selection, he has everything going for him right now. It's probably a pleasure and a joy to be Freddie Freeman right now."

Upton also had three hits to help Tim Hudson (6-7) earn his second straight win. Craig Kimbrel pitched the ninth for his 25th save.

Braves right fielder Jason Heyward left the game in the second inning with a strained right hamstring and said he won't play today.

Latos (8-3) lasted only four innings in his shortest start of the season. He allowed six runs, nine hits and two walks. The six earned runs allowed matched his season high.

"He got a few balls in the heart of the plate," Baker said. "That's probably the worst outing Matt's had since he's been here."

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