Atlanta at Cincinnati

W: J. Vazquez (2-1) L: E. Volquez (2-2)
S: M. Gonzalez (2)
HR: ATL - J. Francoeur (2)   CIN - None

Braves 4, Reds 3 wire reports

CINCINNATI -- The best thing the Atlanta Braves did was stand and watch.

Jeff Francoeur hit a solo homer -- one of only four Atlanta hits -- and the Braves took advantage of the wildest performance in Edinson Volquez's career Friday night, walking their way to a 4-3 victory over the Cincinnati Reds.

Javier Vazquez (2-1) went six innings for the slumping Braves, who had lost seven of nine heading into the weekend series. They emerged from their rut with a lot of help from Volquez (2-2), who gave up only one hit in five innings -- Francoeur's homer -- but couldn't throw a strike when he needed one.

"We did a good job of not swinging at bad pitches tonight," manager Bobby Cox said. "Volquez has no-hit stuff. It's tough to lay off his pitches, and we laid off some pitches."

The right-hander has struggled with his control since spring training, and reached a new low against Atlanta. He walked a career-high seven batters and hit another in only five innings, helping the Braves pull ahead 3-2.

"I lost my release point," Volquez said. "Honestly, I didn't know where the ball was going that inning. I couldn't throw strikes."

The crowd booed last year's All-Star as he walked the bases loaded with two outs in the fourth, then walked Vazquez -- who hasn't had a hit since 2006 -- and Kelly Johnson to force in a pair of runs. The 40-pitch inning was the wildest by a Red since Ryan Dempster walked six in the second inning at Colorado on April 30, 2003.

"He helped me because he didn't throw a strike," Vazquez said of his first RBI since 2005. "It's always good when you don't have to swing the bat."

Volquez's wildness got under the Braves' skin in the third, when he hit Yunel Escobar in the side. The shortstop dropped his bat, took a few steps toward the mound and pointed at Volquez, who raised his arms in a puzzled gesture.

Plate umpire Tim Tschida stepped in front of Escobar and blocked his way, preventing it from escalating. Both benches and bullpens emptied, but it was mostly for show. Several players laughed as they milled around the infield.

"I don't know," Volquez said. "I've never talked to him that much. He said, 'What are you trying to do?' I said, 'I'm trying to get inside.' I'm not going to hit him, especially with Chipper Jones coming up. I just missed my spot."

The Reds were coming off one of their best road trips in the last five years -- they won all three series -- but couldn't keep the momentum going because they couldn't throw strikes. Cincinnati pitchers walked a season-high 10 batters. Three of them scored.

Vazquez has been solid since the Braves got him from the White Sox in a six-player deal last December. The right-hander has gone six innings in each of his four starts and allowed no more than three runs. Joey Votto and Alex Gonzalez had RBI singles off Vazquez, who struck out nine.

Gonzalez hit a sacrifice fly in the eighth, the first run allowed by Rafael Soriano this season. Left-hander Mike Gonzalez pitched a perfect ninth for his second save in three chances.

Jones went 0-for-5 on his 37th birthday. The third baseman had been a .500 career hitter with four homers on his birthdays.


The Braves placed OF Garret Anderson on the 15-day DL retroactive to Monday with a strained left thigh. Anderson had missed the last three games. ... C Brian McCann was a late scratch with blurriness in his left eye caused by a problem with his contact lenses, a problem that has bothered him the last few days. He expects to go on the DL and see a specialist. ... The Reds apologized because of a malfunction that left fans unable to buy tickets at some kiosks. Some of the 8,799 fans who bought tickets at the gates were late getting into the ballpark.

Copyright 2017 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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Players of the Game

J. Francoeur
AB 3
R 1
H 1
HR 1

J. Votto
AB 5
R 0
H 2
HR 0

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Atlanta Braves
Kelly Johnson, 2B4011121 .228
Yunel Escobar, SS3100114 .250
Chipper Jones, 3B5000001 .279
Casey Kotchman, 1B4110111 .291
Jeff Francoeur, RF3111201 .317
Matt Diaz, LF4011122 .237
Jordan Schafer, CF2100202 .259
David Ross, C3000123 .333
Javier Vazquez, P2001111 .000
    Peter Moylan, P0000000 .000
   a- Greg Norton, PH1000000 .000
    Rafael Soriano, P0000000 .000
    Mike Gonzalez, P0000000 .000
a-grounded out for Moylan in the 8th
HR - Jeff Francoeur (2, Volquez)
RBI - Kelly Johnson (9), Jeff Francoeur (12), Matt Diaz (8), Javier Vazquez (1)
2-OUT RBI - Kelly Johnson (5), Jeff Francoeur (9), Matt Diaz (4), Javier Vazquez (1)
Team LOB - 11
PB - David Ross (1)
E - Peter Moylan (1, Misplayed grounder)
Atlanta Braves
Javier Vazquez (W,2-1) 6721190 2.63
Peter Moylan (H,2) 1000110 9.00
Rafael Soriano (H,3) 1111100 1.13
Mike Gonzalez (S,2) 1000020 4.91
Pitches-Strikes - Javier Vazquez 102-67, Peter Moylan 26-15, Rafael Soriano 17-9, Mike Gonzalez 14-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Javier Vazquez 5-4, Peter Moylan 2-1, Rafael Soriano 2-1, Mike Gonzalez 1-0
Batters Faced - Javier Vazquez 26, Peter Moylan 5, Rafael Soriano 5, Mike Gonzalez 3
Cincinnati Reds
Willy Taveras, CF5110020 .275
Chris Dickerson, LF3000121 .222
   a- Jerry Hairston Jr., PH1000000 .172
Joey Votto, 1B5021010 .375
Brandon Phillips, 2B3100124 .173
Jay Bruce, RF4110012 .240
Edwin Encarnacion, 3B3010121 .157
Ramon Hernandez, C3020000 .234
Alex Gonzalez, SS3012002 .140
Edinson Volquez, P2000023 .000
    Nick Masset, P0000000 .000
    Danny Herrera, P0000000 .000
   b- Darnell McDonald, PH1000000 .333
    Jared Burton, P0000000 .000
   c- Laynce Nix, PH1000001 .235
    Arthur Rhodes, P0000000 .000
a-grounded out for Dickerson in the 9th
b-grounded out for Herrera in the 7th
c-grounded out for Burton in the 8th
2B - Jay Bruce (2, Soriano), Ramon Hernandez (2, Vazquez)
SF - Alex Gonzalez (1)
SH - Ramon Hernandez (1)
RBI - Joey Votto (16), Alex Gonzalez 2 (4)
2-OUT RBI - Alex Gonzalez (2)
SB - Brandon Phillips (3, 3rd base off Vazquez/Ross)
Team LOB - 9
Cincinnati Reds
Edinson Volquez (L,2-2) 5133771 6.20
Nick Masset 1.2111320 2.35
Danny Herrera 0.1000000 3.38
Jared Burton 1100000 7.56
Arthur Rhodes 1100000 0.00
HBP - Escobar (by Edinson Volquez)
Pitches-Strikes - Edinson Volquez 97-53, Nick Masset 38-21, Danny Herrera 5-3, Jared Burton 13-8, Arthur Rhodes 28-20
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Edinson Volquez 7-1, Nick Masset 3-0, Danny Herrera 1-0, Jared Burton 1-2
Batters Faced - Edinson Volquez 24, Nick Masset 9, Danny Herrera 1, Jared Burton 4, Arthur Rhodes 4
Game Information
Attendance - 30060
Game Time - 3:30
Temperature - 83
Umpires - Home - Tim Tschida, First Base - Mike Estabrook, Second Base - Jeff Nelson, Third Base - Mark Carlson