National League Preview from The Sports Network
Sunday, August 24 (All times Eastern)
Atlanta Braves (68-62) at Cincinnati Reds (62-68), 1:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Atlanta - Aaron Harang (10-7, 3.50) Cincinnati - Alfredo Simon (12-8, 3.35)
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Cincinnati Reds scored just one run Saturday night, but managed to snap their seven-game skid with a 1-0 win over the Atlanta Braves. The teams conclude their four-game set Sunday afternoon at Great American Ball Park.
Cincinnati has just two victories in its last 12 games, which is a primary reason why the Reds have fallen 9 1/2 games off the pace in the NL Central. The Reds are also well behind in the wild card race, a full seven games behind San Francisco.
The Reds have been held to seven runs in the six meetings with Atlanta this season. Saturday night marked Cincinnati's first victory versus the Braves in 2014.
Brandon Phillips singled home Mike Leake with the game's only run last night. Leake (10-11) tossed 6 2/3 innings of two-hit ball, fanning six and walking three while adding a double for the Reds. Aroldis Chapman shut the door by striking out the side in the ninth to earn his 27th save.
"We really needed that, especially against the Braves, a team playing pretty good baseball," Reds catcher Brayan Pena said on Cincinnati's official website.
Ervin Santana (13-7) allowed four hits and one run, while issuing one walk and striking out seven for the Braves, who lost for just the second time in their last nine outings.
Aaron Harang takes the ball today for Atlanta. He has just one loss in his last 11 starts (5-1) and is coming off a triumph at Pittsburgh Tuesday. Harang came within two outs of a complete game. He is 4-0 over his last six road starts since a June 8 defeat at Arizona.
"He navigates through lineups and he doesn't give you anything good to hit over the middle of the plate," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said of Harang.
Harang is 3-0 with a 2.16 ERA in four games all-time against the Reds, a team he pitched for from 2003-2010.
Alfredo Simon hasn't regained his impressive form that allowed him to be chosen for his first All-Star team. Simon will go to the mound today trying for his first victory since July 9 against the Cubs. The righty went 15-3 with a 2.70 ERA in 18 starts prior to the All-Star break, but he's 0-5 with a 5.40 ERA in seven starts since then.
Simon is 0-0 with a 1.08 ERA in five games, all in relief, versus the Braves. Cincinnati has lost each of those contests.
08/24 10:26:35 ET