|Cincinnati (40-55) «||0||0||0||0||0||2||0||1||0||0||0||0||2||5||10||0|
"There's never a day off in the National League," said Phillips, who entered the game as a pinch hitter in the ninth before taking his usual spot at second base. "I didn't even take any batting practice. I've learned my lesson."
Phillips' hit drove in Norris Hopper and Ken Griffey Jr. and helped the Reds improve to 8-3 in their last 11 games. Hopper reached on second baseman Kelly Johnson's error to lead off the inning and Griffey singled to right with one out.
"I was just trying to hit the ball up the middle," Phillips said. "He left one hanging, and I was lucky enough to hit it up the middle."
Ascanio (0-1), the seventh Atlanta pitcher, gave up two hits and two unearned runs in two innings. The Braves have lost three straight.
Jeff Francoeur singled in Andruw Jones to cut it to 5-4 in the bottom half of the 15th. Atlanta went on to put runners on first and second with two outs but Mike Gosling (1-0) struck out pinch-hitter Kyle Davies, a starting pitcher, to end the game.
Cincinnati employed an unusual defense in the 10th to extinguish a Braves rally.
With Chipper Jones standing on third with one out and Francoeur about to hit, Reds interim manager Pete Mackanin moved center fielder Ryan Freel in front of the bag at second, and the strategy paid off.
Phillips made a leaping catch of Francoeur's liner before throwing to third baseman Jeff Keppinger to force out Jones, who had moved down the line to score the winning run. Jones' RBI double earlier in the inning off David Weathers tied it at 3.
"When I hit it, I thought the game was over," Francoeur said. "He got it, and that stunned me. And then of course he threw out Chipper. It was like a nightmare, and then the game went on for another two hours. As the game went on, it didn't seem like we were supposed to win."
Rafael Soriano came in to pitch the eighth and wasted a strong start by Braves right-hander John Smoltz, who was activated from the 15-day disabled list before the game after he missed one turn in the rotation with right shoulder inflammation.
The Braves were leading 1-0 when Smoltz left for a pinch hitter, but Adam Dunn hit a two-run drive off Soriano for his 26th homer.
"I was basically just trying to get a pitch to hit and get on base," Dunn said. "I wasn't trying to hit a home run."
Smoltz struck out a season-high 11, allowing just five hits and two walks in seven innings. The right-hander now has 41 career games with 10 or more strikeouts. His previous double-digit game was Aug. 21, when he had 10 in a 3-0 win over Pittsburgh.
"I mentally was as good as I've ever been," Smoltz said. "The physical part will kick back in when I get in the five-day routine."
Aaron Harang allowed two runs and 10 hits in 7 2/3 innings for Cincinnati. He struck out eight and walked two. The last batter he faced, Francoeur, made it 2-2 with a sacrifice fly to score Andruw Jones.
"Those games are great to win," Mackanin said, "but you hate them when you lose."
|Behind Brandon Phillips' single the Reds sweep the Braves and improve to 8-3 in their last 11 games. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Norris Hopper, CF-LF||7||2||1||0||0||3||2||.269|
|Jeff Keppinger, 2B-3B||6||0||0||0||0||1||2||.200|
|Ken Griffey Jr., RF||5||2||2||0||2||1||0||.287|
|Adam Dunn, LF||3||1||1||2||1||2||1||.257|
|Ryan Freel, CF||3||0||0||0||0||2||4||.238|
|Scott Hatteberg, 1B||4||0||1||1||3||1||1||.308|
|Edwin Encarnacion, 3B||3||0||0||0||0||1||1||.261|
|a- Brandon Phillips, PH-2B||4||0||1||2||0||0||3||.283|
|David Ross, C||6||0||0||0||1||1||2||.190|
|Pedro Lopez, SS||6||0||3||0||0||1||1||.211|
|Aaron Harang, P||3||0||1||0||0||2||2||.114|
|Jon Coutlangus, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|b- Javier Valentin, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.253|
|Mike Stanton, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|David Weathers, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|c- Jeff Conine, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.258|
|Kirk Saarloos, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Mike Gosling, P||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.000|
|a-grounded out for Encarnacion in the 9th|
|b-grounded out for Coutlangus in the 9th|
|c-grounded out for Weathers in the 11th|
|2B - Pedro Lopez (1, Smoltz), Aaron Harang (1, Smoltz)|
|HR - Adam Dunn (26, Soriano)|
|SH - Jeff Keppinger (1)|
|RBI - Adam Dunn 2 (63), Scott Hatteberg (31), Brandon Phillips 2 (59)|
|2-OUT RBI - Adam Dunn 2 (29), Scott Hatteberg (18), Brandon Phillips 2 (24)|
|Team LOB - 11|
|DP - Lopez-Hatteberg, Keppinger-Lopez-Hatteberg, B. Phillips-Keppinger, B. Phillips-Lopez-Hatteberg|
|David Weathers (BS,4)||1||2||1||1||1||0||0||3.35|
|Mike Gosling (W,1-0)||2.1||2||1||1||1||5||0||4.35|
|IBB - McCann by David Weathers|
|WP - Mike Gosling (1)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Aaron Harang 119-80, Jon Coutlangus 5-3, Mike Stanton 15-10, David Weathers 18-7, Kirk Saarloos 42-30, Mike Gosling 37-24|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Aaron Harang 5-8, Kirk Saarloos 4-1, Mike Gosling 1-1|
|Batters Faced - Aaron Harang 33, Jon Coutlangus 1, Mike Stanton 3, David Weathers 5, Kirk Saarloos 11, Mike Gosling 10|
|Willie Harris, LF||7||0||1||0||0||3||2||.322|
|Edgar Renteria, SS||7||1||4||0||0||0||2||.328|
|Chipper Jones, 3B||7||0||1||1||0||3||3||.333|
|Andruw Jones, CF||6||2||3||0||1||0||2||.216|
|Brian McCann, C||6||0||2||0||1||2||3||.269|
|Jeff Francoeur, RF||6||0||3||2||0||1||2||.290|
|Kelly Johnson, 2B||6||1||2||0||1||4||3||.291|
|Jarrod Saltalamacchia, 1B||6||0||1||1||1||1||4||.287|
|John Smoltz, P||2||0||0||0||0||2||0||.107|
|a- Chris Woodward, PH||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.225|
|Rafael Soriano, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Bob Wickman, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|b- Yunel Escobar, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.316|
|Tyler Yates, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Oscar Villarreal, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|c- Matt Diaz, PH||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||.350|
|Chad Paronto, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|d- Scott Thorman, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||1||.212|
|Jose Ascanio, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|e- Kyle Davies, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||2||.192|
|a-hit a sacrifice bunt for Smoltz in the 7th|
|b-struck out for Wickman in the 9th|
|c-singled for Villarreal in the 11th|
|d-struck out for Paronto in the 13th|
|e-struck out for Ascanio in the 15th|
|2B - Chipper Jones (20, Weathers), Brian McCann (21, Harang)|
|3B - Kelly Johnson (8, Harang)|
|SF - Jeff Francoeur (6)|
|SH - Chris Woodward (4)|
|RBI - Chipper Jones (43), Jeff Francoeur 2 (63), Jarrod Saltalamacchia (12)|
|SB - Chipper Jones (5, 3rd base off Weathers/Ross), Jeff Francoeur (2, 2nd base off Harang/Ross)|
|Team LOB - 14|
|Outfield Assists - Jeff Francoeur 1|
|DP - Renteria-Johnson-Saltalamacchia|
|E - Kelly Johnson (7, Misplayed grounder)|
|Rafael Soriano (BS,2)||1||1||2||2||1||1||1||3.29|
|Jose Ascanio (L,0-1)||2||2||2||0||1||2||0||1.80|
|IBB - Griffey by Tyler Yates, Hatteberg by Jose Ascanio|
|Pitches-Strikes - John Smoltz 93-65, Rafael Soriano 23-14, Bob Wickman 14-6, Tyler Yates 21-12, Oscar Villarreal 10-8, Chad Paronto 20-9, Jose Ascanio 40-25|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - John Smoltz 4-5, Rafael Soriano 2-0, Bob Wickman 2-1, Tyler Yates 2-0, Oscar Villarreal 2-0, Chad Paronto 4-1, Jose Ascanio 2-3|
|Batters Faced - John Smoltz 27, Rafael Soriano 5, Bob Wickman 4, Tyler Yates 6, Oscar Villarreal 3, Chad Paronto 6, Jose Ascanio 10|
|Attendance - 33789|
|Game Time - 4:31|
|Temperature - 86|
|Umpires - Home - Mark Carlson, First Base - Larry Young, Second Base - Angel Hernandez, Third Base - Ted Barrett|