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Braves shut out struggling Reds

Aug 22, 2014 - 3:59 AM Cincinnati, OH ( - Justin Upton drove in three runs and scored another and Andrelton Simmons finished with a home run and two RBI to help the Atlanta Braves beat the Cincinnati Reds, 8-0, in the opener of a four-game set.

Jason Heyward scored twice and knocked in a run and Chris Johnson hit an RBI double and crossed the plate once as the Braves won for the sixth time in their last seven games.

Julio Teheran (12-9) shut out the Reds for six innings, scattering four hits and striking out three for his second straight win since losing three in a row.

"It was tough to pitch today. We had some long innings," said Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez. "Sometimes when you get a big lead, its tough to concentrate."

David Holmberg's (0-1) second start of the season went as badly as the first did back on July 8. The right-hander lasted only 2 2/3 innings again. This time, he was charged with six runs on five hits and four walks. He surrendered four hits, walked three batters and hit another during a five-run third inning for Atlanta.

The Reds have lost six in a row and 11 of their last 13.

Simmons' solo shot in the second gave the Braves an early lead.

Heyward hit a leadoff line drive to left to start Atlanta's big third. He was originally called out, but replay revealed left fielder Skip Schumaker trapped the ball. Phil Gosselin followed with a bunt single and Freddie Freeman walked to load the bases. Justin Upton hit a grounder to left, scoring Heyward and Gosselin with the base knock, then Johnson hit a double off the wall in left-center field to plate Freeman and move Justin Upton to third. Evan Gattis' sacrifice fly scored Upton before Simmons flied out.

Holmberg walked B.J. Upton, hit Teheran with a pitch and walked Heyward in his second at-bat of the inning, scoring Johnson, before being removed. Pedro Villarreal, who was promoted along with Holmberg before the game, struck out Gosselin swinging.

The Braves added another in the fourth. Freeman was hit for the second time in the game to start the inning and Justin Upton singled into center. Villarreal walked Gattis to load the bases. Simmons grounded into a fielder's choice at second, but Freeman scored on the play. B.J. Upton walked to load the bases again, but Teheran grounded out to third to end the inning.

A run in the fifth capped the Braves' scoring for the day and made it 8-0. Heyward singled then Gosselin hit a line drive to left-center for a double. After Freeman struck out, Justin Upton sent Heyward home with a sac fly.

Schumaker, who started the game in left field, moved to the mound for the top of the ninth for his fourth major league pitching appearance. He got Gattis to line out and Simmons to fly out before walking B.J. Upton and finally getting pinch-hitter Ramiro Pena to ground out to complete his scoreless appearance.

"Whenever you're in a game pitching as a position player it's the worst possible scenario because you know you're getting your butt kicked," Schumaker said. "You just try to make it as quick as possible."

Game Notes

Villarreal singled in the third inning for his first major league hit ... Despite the eight runs, Atlanta was just 2-for-10 with runners in scoring position and left 10 runners on base ... Cincinnati was 0-for-3 with RISP and left five on base ... Prior to the game, the Reds optioned pitchers Carlos Contreras and J.J. Hoover to Triple-A Louisville.

  • ATLANTA: 8

    Aug 21 10:22 PM

  • Justin Upton sacrifice fly to right scored Jason Heyward with two out. Runner on second and Chris Johnson due up.

    Braves 8, Reds 0  Top 5, 2 OutsAug 21 9:07 PM

  • Andrelton Simmons grounded into a fielder's choice, short to second scored Freddie Freeman with two out. Evan Gattis out at second. Justin Upton advances to third. Runners on first and third and B.J. Upton due up.

    Braves 7, Reds 0  Top 4, 2 OutsAug 21 8:45 PM
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    Braves 7, Reds 0  Top 4, 2 OutsAug 21 8:45 PM

  • Jason Heyward walk scored Chris Johnson with two out. Bases loaded and Philip Gosselin due up.

    Braves 6, Reds 0  Top 3, 2 OutsAug 21 8:14 PM

  • Evan Gattis sacrifice fly to right scored Justin Upton with one out. Runner on second and Andrelton Simmons due up.

    Braves 5, Reds 0  Top 3, 1 OutAug 21 8:06 PM
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    Braves 5, Reds 0  Top 3, 1 OutAug 21 8:06 PM

  • Chris Johnson double to center scored Freddie Freeman with none out. On the play, Justin Upton advances to third. Runners on second and third and Evan Gattis due up.

    Braves 4, Reds 0  Top 3, 0 OutsAug 21 8:03 PM

  • Justin Upton single to left scored Jason Heyward and Philip Gosselin with none out. On the play, Freddie Freeman advances to second. Runners on first and second and Chris Johnson due up.

    Braves 3, Reds 0  Top 3, 0 OutsAug 21 8:00 PM

  • Andrelton Simmons one-out, solo Home Run (7) to left. B.J. Upton due up.

    Braves 1, Reds 0  Top 2, 1 OutAug 21 7:35 PM

  • ATLANTA: 0
    Top 1, 0 Outs

    Aug 21 7:12 PM
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    Braves vs. RedsJul 24 8:49 AM
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    Braves vs. RedsJun 9 8:16 PM