Andrelton Simmons (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
ATLANTA -- Andrelton Simmons believes winning close games in late September can only help the Braves in October.
Simmons' single to the gap in right-center drove in Justin Upton with two outs in the ninth inning to give Atlanta a 3-2 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Tuesday night.
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It was Simmons' third game-ending hit of the season and the Braves' 24th win in their final at-bat. Simmons said it's a good habit for the NL East champions to carry into the playoffs.
"It's always good to have those close games and come out victorious and create that winning habit that we've had throughout the year," Simmons said. "To keep that going into the postseason is big."
Upton led off the ninth by hitting the first pitch from Donovan Hand (0-5) for a single to left. Freddie Freeman hit a fly ball to deep center for the first out before Evan Gattis, who had three hits, hit a grounder that Scooter Gennett bobbled behind second base for an infield hit, leaving runners at first and second.
The official scorer originally ruled Gennett's play an error before changing the call after the game.
Brian McCann popped out to third base for the second out before Simmons' first hit of the night ended the game.
"He's come up big in those situations," said Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez of Simmons, who is best known for his standout defense at shortstop.
Gonzalez said Simmons, 24, thrives in pressure situations.
"He's got a pretty good temperament and I just think he keeps getting better and better," Gonzalez said. "... We all know what kind of defender he is, and I think his bat is just going to keep getting better and better as he matures."
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