Reds
Braves
1 - 9 Final
  for this game

Reyes wins season debut as Braves top Reds

May 4, 2008 - 4:39 AM By Phil Foley PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

ATLANTA (Ticker) - There's nothing like some good old Southern home cooking for the Atlanta Braves.

Atlanta sent 10 runners to the plate in a six-run seventh inning and Yunel Escobar collected three hits and scored twice to lead the Braves to a 9-1 rout of the Cincinnati Reds on Saturday.

Chipper Jones had two hits to raise his major league-leading average to .421 for Atlanta, which improved to 10-4 at Turner Field this season.

"It was good to see us break loose," Jones said. "We've been struggling in the middle of the order to get things going, to drive in runs."

Atlanta battered three relievers in the seventh en route to notching its second consecutive win.

The Braves loaded the bases in the frame before Reds lefthander Jeremy Affeldt forced in a run by walking Mark Teixeira. Brian McCann extended the advantage to 5-1 with a two-run double, which ticked off the glove of Ryan Freel in left field.

"Finally our luck changed a little bit." Braves manager Bobby Cox said.

Jared Burton relieved Affeldt but did not fare much better. Jeff Francoeur plated Teixeira with a bloop single to right field before Mark Kotsay stretched the lead to 7-1 with a double into the right field corner.

Matt Diaz capped the frame with a sacrifice fly.

Atlanta's nine-run outburst was more than enough to give Jo-Jo Reyes (1-0) the victory in his 2008 debut.

The 23-year-old Reyes, who was recalled from Class AAA Richmond to take the injured John Smoltz's place in the rotation, allowed one run and four hits while walking three and striking out five in 5 1/3 frames.

"I just brought in what I was working on in spring training and it was working well," said Reyes, who looked more composed on the mound than he did during a brief stint in 2007. "Everything was working."

Reyes, who was ineffective as a spot starter in his rookie campaign and in spring training this season, credited his success with a change in his mechanics. After his disastrous spring, where he went 0-0 with a 9.82 ERA, Atlanta pitching coach Roger McDowell made an adjustment to the lefthander's drag foot.

"It's something we worked on in spring training," McDowell said. "His drag foot was unstable. It's one of those things he worked on in Richmond. The other thing is that we moved him to the other side of the rubber, from the first base side to the third base side. It helped him (pitch) to the other side of the plate."

The success of Reyes is key to Atlanta's fortunes this season. With John Smoltz out with a sore shoulder and likely ticketed to become Atlanta's closer upon his return, and Mike Hampton sidelined indefinitely due to a sore pectoral muscle, the Braves will need Reyes to fill some big shoes.

"Jo-Jo was solid for five innings," Jones said. "He's in John Smoltz's spot. I'll say he's probably important. The kid can pitch here. He's got the stuff to pitch here. The only question is can he stay in the strike zone. He did that for five innings."

The Reds finally got to a tiring Reyes in the sixth. Brandon Phillips plated Ryan Freel with an RBI single to halve the deficit to 2-1 before Reyes ended his night by issuing a one-out walk to Joey Votto.

However, Jeff Bennett induced Edwin Encarnacion to ground out to third base and Will Ohman struck out Adam Dunn with the tying run 90 feet away to thwart the rally.

"Both guys did an excellent job," Jones said. "The main thing is the pitchers got pitchers to get outs on. Ohman striking out Dunn was huge."

The Braves' win continued what has been a sensational sports weekend in Atlanta.

On Friday, the resurgent Atlanta Hawks recorded an improbable Game Six victory over the NBA-best Boston Celtics to force a decisive Game Seven in Boston on Sunday afternoon. Meanwhile, Tim Hudson became the first Braves starters since Smoltz in 1998 to record 10 strikeouts without issuing a walk.

"It's in the air man," Atlanta-native McCann said. "We just have to keep it going and play big baseball."

Of course, for the Braves, at least, it helped that the last place Reds are not exactly the Celtics.

With his club struggling, Reds manager Dusty Baker shook up his lineup in an effort to jumpstart his lethargic club.

Power hitting centerfielder Ken Griffey, Jr., who is three homers shy of becoming the fifth major leaguer to smash 600 homers, was inserted into the two-hole for the first time since 1991. Baker batted Brandon Phillips third and inserted rookie Joey Votto into the cleanup spot.

That move did nothing to solve the Reds sputtering offense. Cincinnati, which has scored just five runs over their last four games, mustered just four hits in this one and finished 1-for-5 with runners in scoring position.

"Not really, it's the same players," Baker said in response to a question as to whether the juggled lineup worked. "We couldn't score runs to get the game close. We had runners on, but we couldn't get them in."

Matt Belisle (1-2) allowed two runs and eight hits in 5 1/3 innings for the Reds, who have lost four straight games.








  • NL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    CINCINNATI 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 4 0
    ATLANTA 1 0 0 0 1 0 6 1 x 9 15 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: CIN - MATT BELISLE, BILL BRAY (6TH), MIKE LINCOLN (6TH), JEREMY
    AFFELDT (7TH), JARED BURTON (7TH), FRANCISCO CORDERO (8TH) AND
    DAVID ROSS
    ATL - JO-JO REYES, JEFF B

    May 3 10:08 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    WILD PITCH BY FRANCISCO CORDERO ALLOWED KELLY JOHNSON TO
    SCORE.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, C JONES ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CINCINNATI 1
    ATLANTA 9 BOTTOM, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: M TEIXEIRA (.267, 1-FOR-3, BB, RBI)

    Reds 1, Braves 9  Bot 8, 0 OutsMay 3 9:52 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY MATT DIAZ SCORED JEFF FRANCOEUR.
    SITUATION: 6 RUNS IN, M KOTSAY ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CINCINNATI 1
    ATLANTA 8 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: B PENA (.250, 1-FOR-1)

    Reds 1, Braves 8  Bot 7, 0 OutsMay 3 9:36 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY MARK KOTSAY SCORED BRIAN MCCANN.
    SITUATION: 5 RUNS IN, M KOTSAY ON SECOND, J FRANCOEUR ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CINCINNATI 1
    ATLANTA 7 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: M DIAZ (.289, 0-FOR-1)

    Reds 1, Braves 7  Bot 7, 0 OutsMay 3 9:32 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY JEFF FRANCOEUR SCORED MARK TEIXEIRA.
    SITUATION: 4 RUNS IN, J FRANCOEUR ON FIRST, B MCCANN ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CINCINNATI 1
    ATLANTA 6 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: M KOTSAY (.278, 0-FOR-3)

    Reds 1, Braves 6  Bot 7, 0 OutsMay 3 9:32 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY BRIAN MCCANN SCORED YUNEL ESCOBAR AND CHIPPER
    JONES.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, B MCCANN ON SECOND, M TEIXEIRA ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CINCINNATI 1
    ATLANTA 5 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: J FRANCOEUR (.276, 1-FOR-3)

    Reds 1, Braves 5  Bot 7, 0 OutsMay 3 9:28 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    BASES LOADED WALK TO MARK TEIXEIRA SCORED BRAYAN PENA.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M TEIXEIRA ON FIRST, C JONES ON SECOND, Y
    ESCOBAR ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CINCINNATI 1
    ATLANTA 3 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: B MCCANN (.276, 1-FOR-3)

    Reds 1, Braves 3  Bot 7, 0 OutsMay 3 9:27 PM
  • 5
    roots
    McTool Added 5 roots

    Reds 1, Braves 2  Bot 7, 0 OutsMay 3 9:22 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY BRANDON PHILLIPS SCORED RYAN FREEL.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, B PHILLIPS ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CINCINNATI 1
    ATLANTA 2 TOP, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR CINCINNATI: J VOTTO (.296, 0-FOR-2)

    Reds 1, Braves 2  Top 6, 0 OutsMay 3 8:40 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY YUNEL ESCOBAR SCORED KELLY JOHNSON.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, Y ESCOBAR ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CINCINNATI 0
    ATLANTA 2 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: C JONES (.419, 1-FOR-2, RBI)

    Reds 0, Braves 2  Bot 5, 0 OutsMay 3 8:27 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY CHIPPER JONES SCORED YUNEL ESCOBAR.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, C JONES ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CINCINNATI 0
    ATLANTA 1 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: M TEIXEIRA (.265, 4 HR, 17 RBI)

    Reds 0, Braves 1  Bot 1, 0 OutsMay 3 7:21 PM