CINCINNATI (AP) -- Atlanta's rallies came so often and went so long
that manager Fredi Gonzalez worried his starter would lose his touch
while sitting on the bench.
That's a good problem to have.
Justin Upton extended his hitting streak to 12 games with a
bases-loaded single during Atlanta's decisive third inning, and the
Braves extended their offensive resurgence with an 8-0 victory over the
fading Cincinnati Reds on Thursday night.
Atlanta sent 11 batters to the plate in the third for five runs.
Jason Heyward got it started with a single off David Holmberg (0-1) and
drew a bases-loaded walk that finished the rally. Upton singled home a
pair of runs during the inning and later added a sacrifice fly.
"We got on 'em early," said Freddie Freeman, who walked, was hit by a
pitch twice and scored a pair of runs. "We got on base for the middle
of the lineup, and Justin's been awesome."
Julio Teheran (12-9) went six innings and allowed four hits by the
Reds, who have lost six in a row. His biggest problem was staying loose
while the Braves offense had its way with Cincinnati.
"Julio was good," Gonzalez said. "It was tough to pitch today. We had
some long innings and he was sitting on the bench for a long time. But
he kept his concentration."
Teheran went into the clubhouse and stretched while the innings went on and on.
"It was difficult," Teheran said. "I was trying to stay warm and trying to stay loose."
The Braves have won six of their last seven games, scoring at least
seven runs four times. They remain seven games behind Washington in the
NL East, the product of their 15-18 mark since the All-Star break.
Cincinnati fell a season-high 10 1/2 games back -- its biggest
deficit since the end of the 2011 season -- with its 11th loss in its
last 13 games. The Reds are 10-23 since the All-Star break, tumbling out
of playoff contention.
Holmberg retired only eight batters. The left-hander gave up six runs
and five hits, walked four and hit two batters in his second start for
Andrelton Simmons hit his seventh homer in the second inning to put Atlanta ahead. He also drove in a run with a groundout.
Skip Schumaker pitched the ninth for Cincinnati, walking one and
throwing a fastball that hit 90 mph on the radar gun. It was the utility
player's fourth career pitching performance.
Braves: Gonzalez was waiting for a medical update on right-hander
Shae Simmons, who had to quit throwing at Triple-A Gwinnett because the
back of his pitching shoulder was bothering him.
Reds: Manager Bryan Price said 1B Joey Votto has started jogging, but
isn't doing any baseball-related activities. Votto has been on the DL
since July 8 with strained muscles above his left knee.
Braves: LHP Mike Minor (5-8) won both of his starts against the Reds last season, allowing three runs in 14 innings.
Reds: RHP Mat Latos (4-3) is 2-0 with a 2.70 ERA in his last four
starts. He is making his 13th start in a season cut short by two
The Reds sent struggling relievers J.J. Hoover and Carlos Contreras
to Triple-A Louisville. They brought up Holmberg and right-hander Pedro
Villarreal, who relieved Holmberg in the third inning. Villarreal also
singled in the third for his first big league hit.
Heyward got a single to open the five-run third inning when the
Braves challenged a call that Schumaker had made a diving, backhand
catch of his sinking liner to left field. The replay showed the ball was
trapped and the call was overturned. And the big inning had begun.
STRUGGLES TIMES TWO
Holmberg, acquired in the Ryan Hanigan trade, has faced 37 batters
during his two starts and allowed 21 of them to reach base: 12 hits,
seven walks, two hit batters, four homers.
Upton is 16 for 40 with four homers and 18 RBIs during his hitting
streak. ... Heyward is 8 for 17 with a homer in his last four games. ...
Cincinnati 2B Brandon Phillips is 3 for 15 in four games since
returning from a torn ligament in his left thumb. ... Reds closer
Aroldis Chapman, who had a sore shoulder over the weekend, pitched the
eighth inning and retired all three batters with pitches clocked at 100
mph. ... The last Reds position player to pitch in a game was Paul
Janish in 2009 at Philadelphia.