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Phillips' single in 15th gives Reds first sweep in Atlanta since '90

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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ATLANTA -- Brandon Phillips was happy when he thought he was getting a day off, and ready when the Cincinnati Reds needed him the most.

Phillips' two-run single off rookie Jose Ascanio in the 15th inning gave the Reds a 5-4 victory over the Braves on Wednesday and their first three-game sweep in Atlanta since April 1990.

"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."

Scott Hatteberg gave the Reds a 3-2 lead with an RBI single off Tyler Yates in the 10th.

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."

Notes

  • Griffey became the 84th player in history with 2,500 hits when he singled in the first.
  • Freel changed gloves to play infield in the 10th.
  • The teams combined to leave 25 runners on base, 14 of them Braves.
  • Cincinnati improved to 5-6 in extra innings. Atlanta is 2-3.
 
Copyright 2015 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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Behind Brandon Phillips' single the Reds sweep the Braves and improve to 8-3 in their last 11 games.  (AP)
Behind Brandon Phillips' single the Reds sweep the Braves and improve to 8-3 in their last 11 games. (AP)

Players of the Game
Cincinnati

A. Dunn
AB 3
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 2
Atlanta

J. Francoeur
AB 6
R 0
H 3
HR 0
RBI 2
 

Related Video

Cincinnati Reds
Norris Hopper, CF-LF7210032 .269
Jeff Keppinger, 2B-3B6000012 .200
Ken Griffey Jr., RF5220210 .287
Adam Dunn, LF3112121 .257
    Ryan Freel, CF3000024 .238
Scott Hatteberg, 1B4011311 .308
Edwin Encarnacion, 3B3000011 .261
   a- Brandon Phillips, PH-2B4012003 .283
David Ross, C6000112 .190
Pedro Lopez, SS6030011 .211
Aaron Harang, P3010022 .114
    Jon Coutlangus, P0000000 .000
   b- Javier Valentin, PH1000001 .253
    Mike Stanton, P0000000 .000
    David Weathers, P0000000 .000
   c- Jeff Conine, PH1000000 .258
    Kirk Saarloos, P0000000 .000
    Mike Gosling, P1000010 .000
Totals535105716  
a-grounded out for Encarnacion in the 9th
b-grounded out for Coutlangus in the 9th
c-grounded out for Weathers in the 11th
Batting
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
Fielding
DP - Lopez-Hatteberg, Keppinger-Lopez-Hatteberg, B. Phillips-Keppinger, B. Phillips-Lopez-Hatteberg
Cincinnati Reds
Aaron Harang 7.21022280 3.63
Jon Coutlangus 0.1000010 3.98
Mike Stanton 1000030 5.18
David Weathers (BS,4) 1211100 3.35
Kirk Saarloos 2.2400020 5.97
Mike Gosling (W,1-0) 2.1211150 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
Atlanta Braves
Willie Harris, LF7010032 .322
Edgar Renteria, SS7140002 .328
Chipper Jones, 3B7011033 .333
Andruw Jones, CF6230102 .216
Brian McCann, C6020123 .269
Jeff Francoeur, RF6032012 .290
Kelly Johnson, 2B6120143 .291
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, 1B6011114 .287
John Smoltz, P2000020 .107
   a- Chris Woodward, PH0000000 .225
    Rafael Soriano, P0000000 .000
    Bob Wickman, P0000000 .000
   b- Yunel Escobar, PH1000010 .316
    Tyler Yates, P0000000 .000
    Oscar Villarreal, P0000000 .000
   c- Matt Diaz, PH1010000 .350
    Chad Paronto, P0000000 .000
   d- Scott Thorman, PH1000011 .212
    Jose Ascanio, P0000000 .000
   e- Kyle Davies, PH1000012 .192
Totals574184419  
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
Batting
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
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Jeff Francoeur 1
DP - Renteria-Johnson-Saltalamacchia
E - Kelly Johnson (7, Misplayed grounder)
Atlanta Braves
John Smoltz 75002110 2.88
Rafael Soriano (BS,2) 1122111 3.29
Bob Wickman 1000100 4.36
Tyler Yates 1211110 4.61
Oscar Villarreal 1000010 3.93
Chad Paronto 2000100 3.72
Jose Ascanio (L,0-1) 2220120 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
Game Information
Attendance - 33789
Game Time - 4:31
Temperature - 86
Umpires - Home - Mark Carlson, First Base - Larry Young, Second Base - Angel Hernandez, Third Base - Ted Barrett