Atlanta at Cincinnati

Scoreboard
Atlanta (9-8) «24000301010120
Cincinnati (9-8)020000000262

Escobar almost hits for cycle as Braves flatten Reds

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

CINCINNATI -- Atlanta Braves third baseman Chipper Jones already had an impressive track record against Reds right-hander Bronson Arroyo.

Yunel Escobar got angry enough to start building his own.

 Braves put McCann on 15-day DL

Escobar, who was hit by a pitch Friday, drove in two runs with a double and a single in the first two innings against Arroyo and finished a triple short of the cycle with a career-high four RBI as Atlanta beat Cincinnati 10-2 on Saturday.

"Getting hit by a pitch motivated me somewhat, but not necessarily," Escobar said through an interpreter. "I thought [Edinson Volquez] threw at me yesterday, but that was yesterday. I just happened to have a good day today."

Just in time, said manager Bobby Cox, who saw outfielder Garrett Anderson and catcher Brian McCann go on the disabled list Friday and Saturday.

"Escobar broke out," Cox said. "It was good to see. With McCann and Anderson out, we need some guys to pick us up. They can do it."

Jones hit a three-run homer and also drove in four runs while improving to 11-for-23 (.478) with three homers and 10 RBI in his career against Arroyo. The Braves jumped on the right-hander for six runs in the first two innings and handed him his first loss in four starts.

"They're definitely a team that's given me trouble with over the last few years," said Arroyo, who is 4-3 with a 6.50 ERA in 11 career appearances against the Braves.

Escobar and Jones -- the Braves' No. 2 and 3 hitters -- went a combined 5-for-8 with two home runs, a double and eight RBIs in support of Derek Lowe, who struck out a season-high eight in seven innings to help the Braves to their second three-game winning streak of the season.

Lowe (2-1) allowed two runs on four hits and two walks. He struck out the top three hitters in the Cincinnati batting order with runners on first and second in the fifth.

"I threw a lot of curve balls," Lowe said. "I threw them a lot for strikes. My strikeouts are more by luck. With the score, I'm trying to minimize the damage. If one scores, then maybe I can keep the second run from scoring. The strikeout were huge but they were a bonus."

Plate umpire Mike Estabrook warned Lowe and both benches after Joey Votto was hit by a pitch in the first inning. The benches and bullpens emptied with no punches thrown on Friday when Escobar took a couple of steps toward the mound after being hit by Volquez's pitch.

Escobar went straight to first base after getting hit by Arroyo in the fourth inning.

Estabrook ejected Cincinnati center fielder Jerry Hairston Jr. and manager Dusty Baker after Hairston objected to a called third strike in the third inning.

Escobar snapped a 0-for-10 slump as Atlanta's first four batters reached base while the Braves took a 2-0 lead in the first inning. He followed Kelly Johnson's leadoff walk with a double to left and scored on Jones' single to right.

Jones followed Escobar's run-scoring single with a three-run homer to give Atlanta a 6-0 lead in the second. The homer was Jones' second of the season and first since April 7 off Jamie Moyer at Philadelphia.

Alex Gonzalez drove in the Reds' only two runs in the second with his first homer since Aug. 9, 2007, against Los Angeles. Gonzalez missed all of last season with a knee injury.

Jordan Schafer and former Red David Ross hit back-to-back doubles to lead off the sixth, and Escobar added a two-run homer to left-center later in the inning to knock Arroyo out of the game. Arroyo (3-1), who won his first three starts of a season for the first time in his career, allowed nine runs and nine hits with three walks and five strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings.

The Braves added a run in the eighth against Mike Lincoln on Schafer's leadoff walk, a wild pitch and pinch-hitter Greg Norton's double to left-center field.

Notes

  • The Braves placed C Brian McCann on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to Thursday, with a left eye infection. C Chris Sammons was recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett.
  • Reds OF Willy Taveras got Saturday off after making 14 consecutive starts. C Ramon Hernandez also didn't start Saturday, and manager Dusty Baker said SS Alex Gonzalez would get Sunday off
  • Atlanta 1B Casey Kotchman went 2-for-5 to extend his hitting streak to seven games, one short of matching the career high he set last April.
 
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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'It was good to see,' Bobby Cox says about Yunel Escobar's four-RBI outburst.  (AP)
'It was good to see,' Bobby Cox says about Yunel Escobar's four-RBI outburst. (AP)

Players of the Game
Atlanta

Y. Escobar
AB 4
R 3
H 3
HR 1
RBI 4
Cincinnati

A. Gonzalez
AB 3
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 2
 

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Atlanta Braves
Kelly Johnson, 2B4200113 .213
Yunel Escobar, SS4334001 .286
Chipper Jones, 3B4124021 .298
    Omar Infante, 3B1000000 .300
Casey Kotchman, 1B5020010 .300
Jeff Francoeur, RF5010001 .309
Matt Diaz, LF5000022 .209
Jordan Schafer, CF2210200 .268
David Ross, C4221002 .375
Derek Lowe, P1000100 .000
   a- Greg Norton, PH1011000 .077
    Eric O'Flaherty, P0000000 .000
    Jeff Bennett, P0000000 .000
Totals3610121046  
a-doubled for Lowe in the 8th
Batting
2B - Yunel Escobar (4, Arroyo), Jordan Schafer (5, Arroyo), David Ross (2, Arroyo), Greg Norton (1, Lincoln)
HR - Yunel Escobar (2, Arroyo), Chipper Jones (2, Arroyo)
SH - Derek Lowe (2)
RBI - Yunel Escobar 4 (9), Chipper Jones 4 (8), David Ross (4), Greg Norton (1)
2-OUT RBI - Yunel Escobar 3 (4), Chipper Jones 3 (5)
Team LOB - 5
Atlanta Braves
Derek Lowe (W,2-1) 7422281 3.10
Eric O'Flaherty 1000020 5.06
Jeff Bennett 1200010 1.00
HBP - Votto (by Derek Lowe)
Pitches-Strikes - Derek Lowe 109-69, Eric O'Flaherty 10-9, Jeff Bennett 24-17
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Derek Lowe 7-7, Jeff Bennett 2-0
Batters Faced - Derek Lowe 29, Eric O'Flaherty 3, Jeff Bennett 5
Cincinnati Reds
Chris Dickerson, LF5000046 .195
Jerry Hairston Jr., CF2000010 .161
    Darnell McDonald, CF2000013 .294
    Mike Lincoln, P0000000 .000
Joey Votto, 1B3000022 .358
Brandon Phillips, 2B4000001 .161
Jay Bruce, RF3110120 .245
Edwin Encarnacion, 3B4000002 .145
Alex Gonzalez, SS3112001 .152
    Paul Janish, SS1010000 .455
Ryan Hanigan, C3020101 .357
Bronson Arroyo, P0000000 .000
    Danny Herrera, P0000000 .000
   a- Laynce Nix, PH-CF2010011 .263
Totals32262211  
a-struck out for Herrera in the 7th
Batting
2B - Jay Bruce (3, Lowe), Ryan Hanigan (1, Lowe)
HR - Alex Gonzalez (1, Lowe)
SH - Bronson Arroyo 2 (5)
RBI - Alex Gonzalez 2 (6)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - A. Gonzalez-B. Phillips-Votto, Janish-B. Phillips-Votto
E - Edwin Encarnacion (3, Throwing), Alex Gonzalez (2, Throwing)
Cincinnati Reds
Bronson Arroyo (L,3-1) 5.2999352 6.48
Danny Herrera 1.1000010 2.70
Mike Lincoln 2311100 14.73
HBP - Escobar (by Bronson Arroyo)
WP - Mike Lincoln (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Bronson Arroyo 102-60, Danny Herrera 12-10, Mike Lincoln 23-16
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Bronson Arroyo 7-4, Danny Herrera 1-2, Mike Lincoln 5-0
Batters Faced - Bronson Arroyo 29, Danny Herrera 4, Mike Lincoln 9
Game Information
Attendance - 33015
Game Time - 2:38
Temperature - 79
Umpires - Home - Mike Estabrook, First Base - Jeff Nelson, Second Base - Mark Carlson, Third Base - Tim Tschida