ATLANTA -- Gavin Floyd was impressive in his first start in a year, giving the Braves a chance to end their longest losing streak in two years. Justin Upton homered and scored the tiebreaking run on Chris Johnsons eighth-inning single, and the Atlanta Braves beat the St. Louis Cardinals 2-1 on Tuesday night to end their seven-game skid. "That felt good," Johnson said. "Its big. We werent panicking too much. We were relaxed, even though we lost seven in a row." Floyd allowed one run on six hits in seven innings. He made his first major league start since April 27, 2013, for the White Sox against Tampa Bay. He had season-ending Tommy John surgery 10 days later, and his comeback included six minor league rehab starts this year. "It felt good," Floyd said. "There were a lot of emotions, a lot of excitement through this process leading up to it and getting back out there ... not only starting for the first time but trying to get us back on the winning side." Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez had modest expectations for Floyds return. "I didnt expect that really," Gonzalez said. "I expected a guy who was going to scuffle through five, six innings for the first time out. He hadnt been in competition in a year but he sure came out with flying colours. You couldnt ask for anything more. "He was really, really good for the first time in a year." David Carpenter (2-0) had two strikeouts in the eighth. Craig Kimbrel added two more strikeouts in a perfect ninth for his ninth save. With one out in the eighth, Upton singled to centre. Freddie Freeman followed with a liner that bounced off the leg of Randy Choate (0-1) and bounced to third baseman Matt Carpenter for an infield hit. Right-hander Pat Neshek gave up Johnsons single to right field that drove in Upton and allowed Freeman to advance to third. Johnson called the at-bat against Nesheks side-arm delivery "a grind." "It wasnt easy," Johnson said. "That guy is funky. Hes nasty. ... That was just a battle between me and him and me trying to get something in play. I was able to finally stay on the ball and kind of go the other way a little bit." Choate was left to bemoan Freemans shot that hit his leg, setting up Johnsons run-scoring hit. "If it misses me its a groundball to (shortstop) Jhonny (Peralta), probably a double play," Choate said. "I didnt feel it. I didnt even see it. It just somehow found me and ricochets off me. Thats the way it bounces sometimes and it stinks but what are you going to do?" St. Louis left-hander Tyler Lyons allowed only one run on four hits, including Uptons homer, in six innings. "Great start," said Cardinals manager Mike Matheny. "Its a shame we havent been able to score that guy any runs. ... He had everything working today." Lyons retired the first 10 Braves before Upton snapped a 0-for-12 streak with his team-leading ninth homer in the fourth. The Cardinals tied it in the sixth. Matt Hollidays single to right-centre drove in Carpenter, who led off with a walk. Floyd made the start originally planned for Ervin Santana, whose spot was skipped due to his swollen right thumb. Santana is listed as the probable starter against the Cubs on Saturday. Gonzalez stayed with the structure of the revamped lineup he unveiled on Monday in an attempt to snap the losing streak and hitting slump. For the second straight game, shortstop Andrelton Simmons hit ninth, one spot behind the pitcher. NOTES: Atlantas last win was a 1-0 decision in 10 innings over the Reds on April 27. ... The losing streak was the Braves longest since eight straight losses from May 21-28, 2012. ... Matheny said 2B Mark Ellis was held out for a normal day of rest. Daniel Descalso filled in. ... The series ends on Wednesday night when Braves LHP Mike Minor looks for his first win of 2014 against Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright. ... 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JOHNS, N.CINCINNATI – Theres a lot to say about what happened at Great American Ballpark on Friday night but Erik Kratz needed only three words to aptly describe a 14-9 Blue Jays win over the Reds. "It was awesome," he said. Coming off an ugly three-game sweep at the hands of the Yankees, Toronto found itself in a deep hole early after the Reds put an eight spot up on starter Liam Hendriks (six runs in 1 2/3 innings pitched) and Todd Redmond in the second. All seemed lost, but then the offence, relatively dormant in a stretch of nine losses in 12 games, came to life. As it is with these Blue Jays, as it seems it must be, home runs played a significant role in the comeback. Edwin Encarnacion hit two. The first was the most important. Encarnacion took Mat Latos deep for a three-run shot in the third, a comparatively meek answer to Cincinnatis eight runs the half-inning prior, but the Jays were on the board nonetheless. Brett Lawrie hit a one out homer in the seventh to cut the deficit to 9-6. Three batters later, pinch hitter Juan Francisco hit a two-run shot off journeyman Reds reliever Jumbo Diaz. The score was 9-8, officially nail-biting time for the 33,103 predomiantly Reds fans in attendance. Encarnacion sealed the deal with another three-run home run in the ninth. By that time the Jays were ahead and the second deck shot extended the lead to 14-9. Suddenly, Encarnacion is baseballs leader with 23 home runs. He has three in two games, a sign hes coming out of his slump. "I think we got the emotion back," said Encarnacion. "Everybody in the dugout felt very happy. We felt we could come back." Starting catcher, Dioner Navarro, hit a two out, game-tying double off Jonathan Broxton in the eighth. His replacement in a double switch, Erik Kratz, hit the go-ahead double off flamethrower Aroldis Chapman in the ninth. That Jays put up runs on Cincinnatis formidable one-two bullpen punch (Broxton had a 0.40 ERA entering the game, Chapman a 0.98 ERA) was a feat in itself. "His ball, it comes out of a different slot, too," said Kratz of Chapman, who consistently throws a fastball harder than 100 miles per hour. "Hes coiled up and he comes at you with the noise and thats why hes had so much success." Adam Lind contributed a pinch hit RBI single. Jose Bautista walked four times. Brett Lawrie, who missed Thursdays game in New York with a bruised hand, returned and had three hits. Lawrie was one of six Blue Jays who registered a multi-hit performance. "Yeah, wed lost three in a row," said Kratz. "Yeah, we had lost three in a row but I dont think anybody was sitting here, like, Uh, are we going to win another game? Just like when we had won nine in a row but nobody ever said we had to win 20 in a row. We tried to win our 10th in a row and I think thats something the team does incredibly well. You saw tonight, grinding ouut each at-bat.ddddddddddddEach at-bat that we grind out is just the way were going to play the game. We cant beat anybody tomorrow but we can beat them today." Manager John Gibbons wasnt aware of the specific details but hes been around long enough to know these types of comebacks are historic. "I may never see another game like that, you may never see another game like that so enjoy it and hope it leads to better things," said Gibbons. The eight-run comeback marked the second largest deficit the Blue Jays have overcome in the franchises 38-year history. Long-time fans, certainly those old enough to remember, will recall June 4, 1989 with fondness. The Jays trailed the Red Sox 10-0 at Fenway Park and rallied for a 13-11 win in 12 innings. VOTTO TALKS ENCARNACION Toronto-born Joey Votto is taking it in from a distance. Hes enjoying the success his former teammate and good buddy, Edwin Encarnacion, is enjoying in Vottos hometown. "Hes a teammate that I really am very fond of and Im very proud of him, how well hes done," said Votto. "There are some guys you tune into and you almost, I dont want to use the word awe but you watch and you think to yourself, what do I have to do to get my swing to that point? That May stretch certainly was like that and he and Bautista are two really fun guys to watch." Encarnacions 23 home runs lead Baltimores Nelson Cruz (22). His 62 RBIs also lead the Majors. So enamored was Votto with Encarnacions 16-home run month of May, he sent Encarnacion a text on the afternoon of May 29. Votto admitted the message was profanity-laced and jokingly disparaging. He called upon Encarnacion to hit two home runs in the Jays game against the Royals that night. Encarnacion did just that. "He didnt answer me back until the second home run in the seventh inning," said Votto. "He responded back that night and I asked for some hitting tips. He was kind of coy about it." Encarnacion and Votto were teammates in Cincinnati from the time Votto broke in to the big leagues, in 2007, until Encarnacion was traded to the Blue Jays in 2009. BAUTISTA AND TWITTER Jose Bautista is amongst the major leaguers most active on social media. He has accounts on Twitter and Instagram (@joeybats19) and maintains Facebook and Youtube pages. "Its part of being an athlete today," said Bautista. "If youre not taking advantage of social media and using it to interact with your fans and giving them a sneak peak into your personal life and how you prepare and what youre about then shame on you." If you give Bautista a Twitter follow, chances are hell follow you back. Bautista is closing in on 514-thousand followers. He follows almost 230-thousand accounts. "Im glad Ive been able to use it in the right way I believe," said Bautista. "Just connecting with the fans and giving them the access that theyve wanted for so long." 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