Braves Vs. Angels: Joe Mather Leads Braves To Extra-Inning Win

Joe Mather is, to be frank, not one of the names one thinks of when the topic "Atlanta Braves" is brought up in general discussion.

This is his first year with the team after being acquired last offseason via waivers from the Cardinals. Not only that, but he didn't make the team out of spring training; he was sent to toil in the Atlanta suburbs for their Triple-A team in Gwinnett County. Recalled on April 28, the versatile utilityman (he's played, in his career, all three outfield positions, first and third base, and even pitched an inning for St. Louis in 2010) had appeared in just 14 games this season, starting only five of them, before Saturday night in Anaheim.

Pressed into service in right field because Jason Heyward couldn't start due to shoulder tightness, Mather had the game of his life. In the seventh inning, he hit a three-run homer off Angels starter Joel Pineiro to start the scoring for Atlanta, who had been shut out by Pineiro up to that point; later in the inning the Braves scored again to tie the match at 4-4.

And that's where it stayed until the 12th inning, when Mather struck again. Alex Gonzalez singled with two outs and Angels second baseman Alexi Amarista accidentally kicked the ball into left field. Mather followed with an RBI double off reliever Trevor Bell; Craig Kimbrel finished off the Halos in the last of the inning for his 12th save, and the Braves snapped a three-game losing streak with their 5-4 win, staying within 3.5 games of the first-place Phillies. The Angels and Braves will wrap up their three-game interleague series Sunday afternoon in Anaheim at 3:35 p.m. EDT.

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