Atlanta at Cincinnati

W: M. Owings (4-7) L: J. Vazquez (4-6)
S: F. Cordero (16)
HR: ATL - Y. Escobar (7)   CIN - J. Bruce (16), M. Owings (2)

Reds 4, Braves 3 wire reports

CINCINNATI -- All Micah Owings needed to get on track, apparently, was to face the Atlanta Braves.

The Cincinnati right-hander hit a three-run homer and pitched six effective innings to overcome Javier Vazquez's complete game and lead the Reds to a 4-3 win over Atlanta on Wednesday night.

Owings (4-7) improved to 4-0 with a 2.77 ERA in four career starts against the Braves while hitting his third career homer -- out of a total of seven -- against them.

"Sometimes, you can't explain how things work," said Owings, who was 0-4 in six starts since a 3-1 win at Arizona on May 12. "I'm just going to keep working on getting better."

 Reds' Votto on way to rehab assignment

Jay Bruce also homered and Ryan Hanigan had two hits to help the Reds squeeze out the win despite no production from the first five batters in the lineup, who went a combined 0 for-17. The only baserunner among the top five batters was Brandon Phillips, who walked in the fourth inning, but manager Dusty Baker didn't mind.

"I wasn't counting," he said. "I was just trying to get to the finish line with the lead. We needed to get Micah a win. That was a huge performance by him -- offensively and pitching-wise."

Vazquez (4-6) allowed four hits, two walks and struck out seven in eight innings. It was the 24th complete game of his career and first since a 3-2 loss to Oakland last July 3 while pitching for the White Sox. He is 0-3 in five starts since a 12-4 win over Colorado on May 20.

"It is frustrating," Vazquez said. "It happens too much. You have to keep battling out there. I feel good. When you lose a game when you feel good, it is frustrating."

Yunel Escobar had two hits, including his seventh homer of the season, but the Braves still lost their fourth consecutive game and sixth in their last seven. Atlanta outhit the Reds while losing for the second consecutive game, leaving manager Bobby Cox scratching his head.

"You pitch a four-hitter in this ballpark, you think you're going to win," Cox said. "Vazquez walked the first guy, and the next guy hits a blooper to right. In any other ballpark, that homer might have been a double. I don't know."

With the Reds trailing 2-1 in the bottom of the fifth, Jerry Hairston drew a leadoff walk and moved to third on Hanigan's second single of the game. Owings followed with his second homer of the season, reaching the first row of seats in right field.

On May 10, his pinch-hit solo home shot tied the game in the ninth inning of an eventual 8-7 loss in 10 innings to St. Louis.

"I don't think the pitch to Owings was a bad pitch, but in this ballpark, it is," Vazquez said. "This is a small stadium."

Owings, who also laid down a sacrifice bunt in the third inning, allowed two runs on six hits and two walks.

Bruce gave the Reds a 1-0 lead in the second inning with a two-out solo home run, his 16th of the season and first in 21 at bats since June 10.

Nate McLouth walked to lead off the third before Escobar homered. Escobar was hitless in his previous nine at bats and 2 for 14 in the previous five games of Atlanta's road trip.

McLouth doubled with one out in the seventh and came around to score on two wild pitches by Nick Masset. Arthur Rhodes and David Weathers shut the Braves down before Francisco Cordero pitched the ninth for his 16th save in 17 opportunities.

Cincinnati's pitchers did not record a strikeout for the first time since a 6-5 loss to the Dodgers at Los Angeles on Aug. 28, 2006.


Before the game, the Reds placed RHP Mike Lincoln on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to Saturday, with a bulging disc in his neck. RHP Josh Roenicke was recalled from Triple-A Louisville. ... Reds 1B Joey Votto, on the disabled list since May 30 with stress-related issues, was expected to leave Wednesday night for a minor-league rehab assignment. ... The Reds scored more runs while winning their last two games than they scored while losing the previous four. ... Atlanta OF Garret Anderson extended his hitting streak to seven games. ... Rhodes struck out looking to end the seventh inning in his first plate appearance since 2001, for Seattle at Colorado.

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

M. Owings
IP 6.0
H 6
ER 2
BB 2
K 0

Y. Escobar
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1

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Nate McLouth, CF4210101 .252
Yunel Escobar, SS4122101 .290
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Brian McCann, C4000003 .323
Garret Anderson, LF4010001 .260
Casey Kotchman, 1B4010001 .283
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Javier Vazquez, P3000003 .077
   a- Matt Diaz, PH0000100 .272
a-walked for Vazquez in the 9th
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Atlanta Braves
Javier Vazquez (L,4-6) 8444272 3.41
Pitches-Strikes - Javier Vazquez 99-69
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Javier Vazquez 11-6
Batters Faced - Javier Vazquez 30
Cincinnati Reds
Willy Taveras, CF4000011 .224
Alex Gonzalez, SS4000001 .219
Brandon Phillips, 2B3000100 .278
Laynce Nix, LF3000020 .262
Ramon Hernandez, 1B3000011 .240
Jay Bruce, RF3111011 .217
Jerry Hairston Jr., 3B2100100 .239
Ryan Hanigan, C3120010 .313
Micah Owings, P1113000 .278
    Nick Masset, P0000000 .000
    Arthur Rhodes, P1000010 .000
    David Weathers, P0000000 .000
    Francisco Cordero, P0000000 .000
HR - Jay Bruce (16, Vazquez), Micah Owings (2, Vazquez)
SH - Micah Owings (1)
RBI - Jay Bruce (33), Micah Owings 3 (7)
2-OUT RBI - Jay Bruce (13)
SB - Brandon Phillips (7, 2nd base off Vazquez/McCann)
Team LOB - 2
DP - B. Phillips-A. Gonzalez-Hernandez
E - Micah Owings (2, Misplayed grounder), Willy Taveras (3, Misplayed grounder)
Cincinnati Reds
Micah Owings (W,4-7) 6622201 4.50
Nick Masset (H,4) 0.2111100 1.38
Arthur Rhodes (H,12) 1000000 1.52
David Weathers (H,10) 0.1000000 2.74
Francisco Cordero (S,16) 1000100 1.86
WP - Nick Masset 2 (4)
Pitches-Strikes - Micah Owings 108-67, Nick Masset 15-5, Arthur Rhodes 5-5, David Weathers 7-5, Francisco Cordero 19-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Micah Owings 7-11, Nick Masset 2-0, Arthur Rhodes 3-0, Francisco Cordero 2-1
Batters Faced - Micah Owings 26, Nick Masset 4, Arthur Rhodes 3, David Weathers 1, Francisco Cordero 4
Game Information
Attendance - 27455
Game Time - 2:44
Temperature - 85
Umpires - Home - Joe West, First Base - Paul Nauert, Second Base - Paul Schrieber, Third Base - Ed Rapuano