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Simmons overcomes errors, injury scare in gritty effort

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ATLANTA -- Along with matching a career high by driving in four runs in Saturday's 10-4 win over the D-backs, Andrelton Simmons bruised his left ankle, backside and pride. But the confident smile he displayed as he sat at his locker after the game provided every indication that he will not allow a little soreness to prevent him from playing in Sunday's series finale.

"If you don't want him in the lineup, you tell him," said Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez, smirking.

Simmons' determined spirit was displayed again on Saturday, when he managed to tie a career-high error total with two in the first inning. But by the end of the game, the Gold Glove shortstop could be satisfied by the fact that he had made amends by collecting two hits and plating four, including the go-ahead runs in the fourth.

The only other two occasions Simmons committed two errors in a game were on June 15, 2013 against the Giants and on June 17 against the Phillies. During the latter game, the two errors were also committed in the same inning.

Simmons' sudden wave of mistakes began when he made an errant throw toward the plate that allowed Paul Goldschmidt to advance from second to third base on an RBI double. Two batters later, the Braves shortstop botched a flip toward second while attempting to turn an inning-ending double play,

"I'm just glad we got the win," Simmons said. "It's a little tough when your errors are a little costly. But [Aaron] Harang picked me up and kept us in the game. The other guys got on base. We got runs and ended up winning. So, it's a good day after all."

Along with the fact that they notched their ninth straight win, the Braves also considered this a good day because Simmons came away healthy. He provided a brief scare when his feet got tangled and he fell after getting caught between second base and third base in the sixth inning. He turned his left ankle slightly, but most of his pain came courtesy of landing hard on his backside.

Simmons was briefly checked by the Braves' medical staff. As he made his way back toward the dugout, he eventually smiled and slowly jogged into the dugout. Thus, it was not surprising to see him man his position when the seventh inning began.

"It just numbed up my whole leg," Simmons said. "I wanted to get up and run it off, but I just couldn't."

Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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