for this game

Willis tries to pitch Reds to series win over Braves

Jul 24, 2011 - 2:34 PM (Sports Network) - Dontrelle Willis shoots for his first win in more than a year this evening when he tries to pitch the Cincinnati Reds to a series win over the Atlanta Braves at Great American Ball Park.

A former National League Rookie of the Year and a two-time All-Star, Willis has fallen on hard times as of late, recording just three wins since 2008. He split last year with Arizona and Detroit, going 2-3 with a 5.62 earned run average in 15 games, all but two of those starts.

Willis signed a minor league deal with the Reds this offseason and made his first start for them right before the All-Star break. After recording a quality start in that first outing on July 10, Willis absorbed the loss on Monday in Pittsburgh, as he gave up two runs and five hits in 4 2/3 innings, leaving early because of a weather delay.

He is 0-1 with a 3.38 ERA.

"I had to throw some pitches and stay warm because of the weather," said Willis, who hasn't won since June 5. "I felt good mechanically. The first time in a long time, mechanically."

Willis has faced the Braves 19 times and is 6-5 against them with a 4.91 ERA.

In addition to nailing down a series win the 29-year-old left-hander will also be trying to help the Reds pick up back-to-back victories for the first time since winning three in a row from June 13-15.

On Saturday, Edgar Renteria and Todd Frazier collected three RBI apiece to pace the Reds to an 11-2 rout.

Brandon Phillips went 3-for-5 with a pair of RBI while Ryan Hanigan chipped in with a double among his two hits.

Homer Bailey (5-4) worked six solid innings, giving up two runs on five hits while fanning three and walking three for the Reds, who bounced back after dropping the series opener on Friday.

Derek Lowe (6-8) went five-plus innings in defeat, yielding four runs on six hits with fanning one and walking a pair. Lowe also accounted for the only Braves runs with a double in the second inning.

Dan Uggla extended his hitting streak to 14 games in the loss, while Jason Heyward had a double for the Braves, who have lost three of their last five contests.

Uggla is batting .347 (17-for-49) over the life of his career-best streak, but is still hitting just .196 this season.

Tonight, Atlanta turns to right-handed rookie Brandon Beachy, who is 3-2 with a 3.75 ERA. Beachy took the loss and was hit hard by the Colorado Rockies on Tuesday, as he allowed six runs and nine hits in only 4 2/3 innings.

This will be his first-ever start against the Reds.

Atlanta took two of three from the Reds earlier the year.