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Clayton, Encarnacion lead Reds comeback against Braves

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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CINCINNATI -- Reds manager Jerry Narron asked his players to show more passion and Eddie Guardado happily obliged.

Royce Clayton hit his second homer in three games and Guardado worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the ninth to preserve Cincinnati's 5-4 victory over the Atlanta Braves on Friday night, snapping a five-game losing streak.

Narron held a pregame meeting and asked his players to mix in some emotion, and the usually fiery Guardado was plenty demonstrative in the ninth. Atlanta loaded the bases with no outs before Brian McCann flied out to short left field and Jeff Francoeur grounded into a game-ending double play.

Guardado stomped off the mound and pumped his fist after getting his seventh save in seven opportunities since being traded from Seattle on July 6.

"I was facing the top of the lineup, and it's a good lineup," said Guardado, who made his first appearance in seven days. "I got behind both of the first two hitters. I was trying to get the ball down, and I did to the last two batters."

Edwin Encarnacion added a tiebreaking two-run double for the Reds, who looked listless for much of the game against Atlanta starter Chuck James.

"We had a little wakeup call," said Clayton, who was acquired from Washington as part of an eight-player trade on July 13. "(Narron) talked in the meeting about having to play with a little passion and emotion. We're going to be tough to beat if we play with passion. It was a great call by Jerry to address some things. We kind of got the emotion back. We needed that."

The Reds, who were held hitless by Greg Maddux for six innings in a 3-0 loss to the Dodgers on Thursday night, didn't get a hit off James until the sixth inning. Clayton followed Ryan Freel's one-out walk with a two-run drive to left-center on a full count for his second homer of the season, tying it at 2.

"I told myself to be more patient," Clayton said. "If I work the count, he'll have to come back and give me a pitch. He got that one up. I wanted to make him make quality pitches."

Ken Griffey Jr. then walked and Rich Aurilia doubled, chasing James from the game. Encarnacion greeted Chad Paronto with his two-run double to put the Reds in front 4-2.

Clayton's homer snapped the Reds' streak of 15 1-3 scoreless innings dating to Clayton's solo home run leading off the eighth inning in a 5-3 loss to the Dodgers on Wednesday. That was Clayton's first homer since June 17, 2005, for Arizona at Cleveland.

"I'm used to those being doubles in Washington," Clayton said.

James (4-3), making his seventh major league start, allowed four runs and two hits. He struck out three and walked three for the Braves, who've lost six of their last eight games. The loss was his third in his last three starts after four consecutive wins.

"I've been struggling hitting my spots lately, but I had the good fastball tonight that I hadn't had in a while," James said.

Aaron Harang (12-7) lasted six innings to improve to 3-1 in his last five starts. Harang allowed two runs and five hits, struck out two and walked three.

McCann hit a two-run homer in the fourth and Francoeur hit a solo homer in the eighth for Atlanta. It was Francoeur's 21st of the year.

Notes

  • Atlanta 2B Marcus Giles singled in the first inning to extend his hitting streak to eight games (15-for-32, .469).
  • Reds LF Adam Dunn didn't start for just the second time in Cincinnati's 109 games this season.
  • Harang has made 69 consecutive starts without allowing more than three walks, dating back to a four-walk start on July 19, 2004, against Milwaukee.
  • Adam LaRoche missed his second consecutive start for Atlanta with a strained right hamstring.
  • Reds LHP Eric Milton celebrated his 31st birthday Friday.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Royce Clayton the power hitter? The light-hitting shortstop belts his second HR in three games.  (AP)
Royce Clayton the power hitter? The light-hitting shortstop belts his second HR in three games. (AP)

Players of the Game
Cincinnati

R. Clayton
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 2
Atlanta

M. Giles
AB 4
R 0
H 3
HR 0
RBI 1
 
Atlanta Braves
Willy Aybar, 3B4010122 .255
Marcus Giles, 2B4031101 .264
Edgar Renteria, SS5010005 .313
Andruw Jones, CF3110203 .272
Brian McCann, C5112019 .332
Jeff Francoeur, RF5111001 .257
Scott Thorman, 1B4010000 .253
Ryan Langerhans, LF2010100 .247
   a- Matt Diaz, PH-LF1000001 .309
Chuck James, P2000002 .000
    Chad Paronto, P0000000 .000
   b- Pete Orr, PH1110000 .200
    Ken Ray, P0000000 .000
   c- Adam LaRoche, PH1000001 .271
    Macay McBride, P0000000 .000
Totals3741145325 
a-fouled out for Langerhans in the 8th
b-singled for Paronto in the 7th
c-grounded out for Ray in the 8th
Batting
2B - Marcus Giles (23, Majewski), Edgar Renteria (25, Guardado), Scott Thorman (7, Cormier), Ryan Langerhans (11, Harang)
HR - Brian McCann (13, Harang), Jeff Francoeur (21, Cormier)
RBI - Marcus Giles (38), Brian McCann 2 (49), Jeff Francoeur (75)
CS - Marcus Giles (5, 2nd base by Harang/LaRue)
Team LOB - 11
Fielding
DP - McCann-Aybar-Paronto-Renteria
E - Brian McCann (5, ), Edgar Renteria (10, )
Atlanta Braves
Chuck James (L,4-3) 5.1244331 5.07
Chad Paronto 0.2200000 2.88
Ken Ray 1211010 3.35
Macay McBride 1000000 4.19
Pitches-Strikes - Chuck James 86-53, Chad Paronto 5-3, Ken Ray 13-11, Macay McBride 12-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Chuck James 4-9, Ken Ray 2-0, Macay McBride 2-1
Batters Faced - Chuck James 22, Chad Paronto 2, Ken Ray 5, Macay McBride 3
Cincinnati Reds
Ryan Freel, RF2100200 .297
Royce Clayton, SS4112012 .264
Ken Griffey Jr., CF3100110 .235
Rich Aurilia, 1B4110000 .282
Edwin Encarnacion, 3B2012000 .283
    Gary Majewski, P0000000 .000
    Rheal Cormier, P0000000 .000
    David Weathers, P0000000 .000
   a- David Ross, PH1000000 .304
    Eddie Guardado, P0000000 .000
Brandon Phillips, 2B3010001 .294
Chris Denorfia, LF3110003 .263
Jason LaRue, C2000010 .191
Aaron Harang, P1000010 .167
   b- Juan Castro, PH-3B2011000 .251
Totals27565346 
a-flied out for Weathers in the 8th
b-flied out for Harang in the 6th
Batting
2B - Rich Aurilia (19, James), Edwin Encarnacion (22, Paronto)
HR - Royce Clayton (2, James)
SH - Jason LaRue (3)
RBI - Royce Clayton 2 (35), Edwin Encarnacion 2 (45), Juan Castro (21)
SB - Ryan Freel (24, 2nd base off James/McCann), Brandon Phillips (21, 2nd base off James/McCann)
CS - Edwin Encarnacion (2, Home by Paronto/McCann)
Team LOB - 3
Fielding
DP - Castro-B. Phillips-Aurilia
E - Edwin Encarnacion (16, )
Cincinnati Reds
Aaron Harang (W,12-7) 6521321 3.53
Gary Majewski (H,8) 0.2211100 4.41
Rheal Cormier (H,13) 0.1211001 2.02
David Weathers (H,5) 1000010 4.41
Eddie Guardado (S,12) 1200100 4.13
IBB - A. Jones by Gary Majewski, A. Jones by Eddie Guardado
WP - Aaron Harang (5)
Pitches-Strikes - Aaron Harang 115-73, Gary Majewski 17-9, Rheal Cormier 8-6, David Weathers 9-6, Eddie Guardado 23-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Aaron Harang 6-10, Rheal Cormier 1-0, David Weathers 1-1, Eddie Guardado 1-1
Batters Faced - Aaron Harang 26, Gary Majewski 5, Rheal Cormier 3, David Weathers 3, Eddie Guardado 5
Game Information
Attendance - 33661
Game Time - 2:48
Temperature - 85
Umpires - Home - Tim Tschida, First Base - Laz Diaz, Second Base - Ted Barrett, Third Base - Adam Dowdy