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Braves' bats bash Reds

POSTED: May 15, 2008 5:00 a.m.
The Associated Press/

Atlanta Braves' Chipper Jones, second from right, is greeted by teammates Mark Kotsay (11) Mark Teixeira (24) and Kelly Johnson, left, after hitting a three-run homer in the second inning on Sunday at Turner Field in Atlanta.

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ATLANTA — The Atlanta Braves made the most of their last chance to take advantage of the Cincinnati Reds’ road futility.

Chipper Jones drove in five runs and the Braves scored seven runs in the second inning and beat Cincinnati 14-7 on Sunday to complete a three-game sweep in the Reds’ only visit to Atlanta this season.

Jones hit his ninth homer — a three-run shot off Bronson Arroyo in the seven-run second. Kelly Johnson was 4-for-6 with three doubles, and Mark Kotsay was 3-for-4 with a homer.

The Braves outscored the Reds 25-8 in the three games, giving Cincinnati its fifth straight loss — all on the road.

“We caught a team when they were down,” said Jones, who was 3-for-6 and is hitting .425.
The Braves also have suffered down games away from Turner Field. They are 11-4 at home but 4-11 on the road.

Jones said the Braves, who returned to .500, should use the series against the Reds as a template for the rest of their season.

“When we learn to play on the road like we did, the same aggressiveness, step on somebody’s throat when we get them down, when we learn to do that ... I think wins on the road will come,” Jones said.

The Reds, who had another five-game road losing streak in April, have lost 12 of 18 road games overall.

“We have to come up with some kind of solution,” said Reds manager Dusty Baker.

The Braves, who matched their season high with 15 hits in Saturday’s 9-1 win, set a new high with 19.

“We’ve got to keep it going,” Johnson said. “We have the potential to have a lot of days like this. We’ve got to save some runs for those one-run games we’ve been losing.”

The Braves are 0-9 in one-run games.

Arroyo (1-4) lasted only 1 1-3 innings, the shortest of his 166 career starts. His ERA climbed to 8.63 as he gave up seven hits and seven runs with a walk.

Tom Glavine couldn’t take advantage of an excellent opportunity for his first win of the season. He gave up seven hits with five walks and six runs in 4 2-3 innings.

“Too bad,” said manager Bobby Cox. “We got Tommy some runs, finally, and he didn’t have his best day.”

Glavine was only one out away from qualifying for the win when he was pulled by Cox after walking Edwin Encarnacion on a 3-2 pitch to load the bases in the fifth.

Royce Ring (1-0) threw only one pitch, ending the inning with a shallow fly ball to left from Adam Dunn.
Glavine, making his second start since returning from a hamstring injury, said he felt “too good” and couldn’t control his tempo.

“I got kind of caught between feeling too strong and trying to back off,” Glavine said.

“When I’m struggling with my tempo, it makes it tough to repeat my mechanics pitch after pitch.”

Jones’ three-run homer, a high shot that fell a few feet inside the right-field foul pole, knocked Arroyo out of the game. Gregor Blanco, Glavine and Kotsay had run-scoring singles and Martin Prado drove in a run with a sacrifice fly.

Josh Fogg gave up Kotsay’s RBI single in the third.

Paul Bako’s third-inning homer gave Cincinnati its first run, and the Reds added four runs in the third. Brandon Phillips doubled and scored on Joey Votto’s single up the middle. After Encarnacion walked, Dunn hit a two-run double and Jeff Keppinger added a run-scoring single.

“We fought back,” Baker said, adding the Reds almost completed the comeback in the fifth.

“One hit would have tied the game,” Baker said. “I was hoping we could hold them. But they were off to the races again.”

The Braves pulled away with four runs in the bottom of the fifth. Johnson drove in a run with one of his three doubles, Jones added a two-run double and McCann hit a bases-loaded single off the right-field wall.

Braves shortstop Martin Prado, a late fill-in starter when Yunel Escobar suffered dizziness in batting practice, suffered a sprained left thumb. X-rays were negative but Cox was concerned.

“Prado’s not OK,” Cox said. “We’re still looking at it. He’s got a pretty damaged thumb right now.”

Prado will be examined by a hand specialist on Monday.




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