Braves shut out struggling Reds
Cincinnati, OH (SportsNetwork.com) - 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."
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.
08/21 23:58:58 ET