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Stubbs' HR in 9th lifts Reds to series win over Braves

Jul 25, 2011 - 5:38 AM Cincinnati, OH (Sports Network) - Drew Stubbs led off the bottom of the ninth inning with a homer off Scott Linebrink to lift the Cincinnati Reds over the Atlanta Braves, 4-3, in the rubber match of a three-game series.

Stubbs, who made a key catch in the top of the ninth, stepped up to the plate to start the bottom half. Linebrink (3-2), fresh out of the bullpen, tossed a first-pitch fastball to Stubbs, who deposited the ball into the right field seats.

Brandon Phillips hit a two-run homer for the Reds, who have won consecutive games for the first time since a three-game win streak from June 13-15. Miguel Cairo added a solo homer.

Dontrelle Willis went 6 1/3 innings in the start for Cincinnati, allowing three runs on six hits. Francisco Cordero (4-3) pitched a scoreless ninth to pick up the win.

"I hope this is the beginning of a hot streak that we're going to put together," Cordero said.

Brian McCann hit a solo homer for the Braves, who went 3-4 on a seven-game road trip.

Atlanta's Brandon Beachy gave up three runs -- one earned -- on five hits over six full frames. He struck out four and walked four.

"Outstanding," Braves manager Freddi Gonzalez said of Beachy. "He got really two pitches -- because I thought he did a really terrific job pitching -- just above the strike zone, and down in the strike zone. One to Phillips was a two- run homer that was right in the middle of the strike zone. But other than that, it was a hell of an outing; he gave us a hell of a chance to win the ball game."

Trailing by three, 3-0, Atlanta cut into the deficit with two runs in the fourth. McCann started the frame with a bomb to right that almost left the ballpark. With one out, Freddie Freeman doubled and Alex Gonzalez singled. Wilkin Ramirez knocked in a run when he grounded into a fielder's choice. Ramirez was then caught stealing second to keep it a one-run game.

The Braves tied the contest in the seventh. Nate McLouth hit a one-out single and moved to second on a wild pitch. Pinch-hitter Julio Lugo followed with an RBI base hit up the middle. Nick Masset took over for Willis and worked out of a minor jam to keep it 3-3.

Atlanta almost took the lead in the ninth. Gonzalez led off with a single and stole second. With one out, McLouth hit a deep fly ball to left-center field. Stubbs and left fielder Chris Heisey both made a run at the ball, but it was the former who made the catch. Heisey ducked under Stubbs and hit the wall in a near collision. Gonzalez went to third on the play, but pinch-hitter Brooks Conrad struck out looking to end the inning.

The Reds used the long ball to grab an early 3-0 lead. Phillips hit a two-run homer in the first and Cairo added a solo shot in the second.

Game Notes

The Braves and Reds split six games this season...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...Cincinnati placed shortstop Zack Cozart on the 15-day disabled list and recalled shortstop Paul Janish from Triple-A Louisville...Braves second baseman Dan Uggla saw a 14-game hitting streak come to an end.