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Cincinnati (50-51) «210000001472

Stubbs' walk-off HR gives Reds elusive winning streak

CBSSports.com wire reports
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CINCINNATI -- Drew Stubbs went to the plate ready to swing at the first pitch.

When he got the fastball he expected, Stubbs went the opposite way for a leadoff home run in the ninth inning Sunday night, sending the Cincinnati Reds to a 4-3 victory against the Atlanta Braves and their first set of back-to-back victories in more than five weeks.

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Stubbs expected Scott Linebrink (3-2) to try to get ahead in the count with his first pitch. Good guess.

"I went up there looking for a fastball out over the plate," Stubbs said, after the second game-ending home run of his career. "He gave it to me, I put a good swing on it, and the rest is history."

A little recent history: The defending NL Central champions hadn't won back-to-back games since June 14-15, when they completed a three-game sweep of the Dodgers in Los Angeles.

"It's been even longer since we've won three in a row, so we might as well win three in a row," manager Dusty Baker said.

The Reds' inability to put together even the most modest winning streak has stranded them in fourth.

"We know we haven't been playing our best baseball, but we definitely have the pieces of the puzzle to make a run," Stubbs said. "It's going to be a dogfight. Nobody's running away with it. I think we can stay right we're at and make a run at it."

Stubbs' home run off Linebrink (3-2) completed the Reds' all-power night. Brandon Phillips hit a two-run homer, and Miguel Cairo added a solo shot off rookie Brandon Beachy, giving Cincinnati a 3-0 lead.

Francisco Cordero (4-3) fanned pinch-hitter Brooks Conrad with a runner on third base to end the Braves' ninth.

Reds starter Dontrelle Willis couldn't hold a 3-2 lead in the seventh, when Julio Lugo tied it with a pinch-hit single. The left-hander was trying to get his first big-league victory since June 5 last season.

Willis put on a show at the start. He got through the inning on seven pitches, all strikes, and ended the inning with a flourish.

Brian McCann grounded to first baseman Joey Votto, whose flip to Willis was a little behind the pitcher. Willis reached back, caught the ball, then dived and tagged the base with his glove. He rolled once on the ground before getting to his feet.

McCann hit his second home run of the series in the fourth inning, and the Braves got another run when Alex Gonzalez grounded into a forceout, cutting Cincinnati's lead to 3-2. McCann's 18 home runs are the most by a catcher in the majors.

For a moment, it appeared Willis might have to leave early. He fanned Martin Prado in the third inning on a hard slider, then shook his left hand, looked at his index finger and saw he had cracked the nail. A trainer checked out his hand, and Baker and pitching coach Bryan Price talked to him on the bench after the inning.

"I've done it before," Willis said. "The thing is, the pitch I did it on was a strikeout. If I get a strikeout every time I crack a fingernail, I'll crack all 10."

Willis stayed in until the seventh, when Nate McLouth singled, advanced on a wild pitch and scored on Lugo's single, which ended his 0-for-12 slump.

Beachy was coming off the worst outing of his young career. The rookie gave up six runs, nine hits and two home runs -- all career highs -- in only 4 2/3 innings of a 12-3 loss at Colorado on Tuesday.

The right-hander gave up two more home runs Sunday night. Phillips hit an opposite-field, two-run shot in the first inning, and Miguel Cairo hit a solo home run off the facing of the upper deck in left field in the second for a 3-0 lead. Beachy went six innings.

Braves second baseman Dan Uggla went 0 for 3, ending his career-best hitting streak at 14 games.

Notes

  • Braves 3B Chipper Jones will rejoin the team in Atlanta on Monday and could be activated off the DL. Jones had surgery to fix torn cartilage in his right knee on July 9. He played in two games over the weekend for Class A Rome without incident.
  • The Reds put SS Zack Cozart on the 15-day DL and called up SS Paul Janish from Triple-A. Cozart sprained his left elbow while making a tag in Saturday's game.
  • RF Jay Bruce was back in the starting lineup. An inner-ear problem had limited him to one pinch-hit appearance the past two days.
  • Stubbs' other game-ending home run was Aug. 29, 2009, against the Giants.
 
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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Drew Stubbs shows his appreciation to Reds fans while rounding the bases on a walk-off shot against the Braves.  (Getty Images)
Drew Stubbs shows his appreciation to Reds fans while rounding the bases on a walk-off shot against the Braves. (Getty Images)

Players of the Game
Cincinnati

D. Stubbs
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 1
RBI 1
Atlanta

N. McLouth
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 0
RBI 0
 

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Atlanta Braves
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Martin Prado, 3B4010022 .277
Jason Heyward, RF4000003 .224
Brian McCann, C4111000 .306
Dan Uggla, 2B3000110 .195
Freddie Freeman, 1B3110101 .280
Alex Gonzalez, SS4020003 .230
Wilkin Ramirez, LF2001110 .261
   a- Eric Hinske, PH-LF1000010 .254
Nate McLouth, CF4120001 .227
Brandon Beachy, P1000001 .048
   b- Julio Lugo, PH1011000 .130
    Eric O'Flaherty, P0000000 .000
    Jonny Venters, P0000000 .000
   c- Brooks Conrad, PH1000011 .224
    Scott Linebrink, P0000000 .000
Totals3238336  
a-struck out for Ramirez in the 9th
b-singled for Beachy in the 7th
c-struck out for Venters in the 9th
Batting
2B - Freddie Freeman (23, Willis)
HR - Brian McCann (18, Willis)
SH - Brandon Beachy (4)
RBI - Brian McCann (55), Wilkin Ramirez (2), Julio Lugo (3)
SB - Alex Gonzalez (2, 2nd base off Cordero/Hanigan)
CS - Wilkin Ramirez (2, 2nd base by Willis/Hernandez)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
E - Martin Prado (6, Misplayed grounder)
Atlanta Braves
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Brandon Beachy 6531442 3.58
Eric O'Flaherty 1100120 0.96
Jonny Venters 1000100 1.32
Scott Linebrink (L,3-2)0111001 3.20
IBB - Hernandez by Brandon Beachy, B. Phillips by Eric O'Flaherty
WP - Brandon Beachy (6)
Pitches-Strikes - Brandon Beachy 112-65, Eric O'Flaherty 20-9, Jonny Venters 10-5, Scott Linebrink 1-1
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brandon Beachy 6-8, Eric O'Flaherty 1-0, Jonny Venters 2-1
Batters Faced - Brandon Beachy 27, Eric O'Flaherty 5, Jonny Venters 4, Scott Linebrink 1
Cincinnati Reds
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Drew Stubbs, CF4221101 .256
Edgar Renteria, SS3000013 .234
Joey Votto, 1B3000122 .315
Brandon Phillips, 2B3112100 .282
Jay Bruce, RF4010012 .268
Chris Heisey, LF3000111 .245
Miguel Cairo, 3B4111000 .281
Ramon Hernandez, C2010200 .308
    Bronson Arroyo, PR0000000 .167
    Ryan Hanigan, C0000000 .259
Dontrelle Willis, P3010013 .429
    Nick Masset, P0000000 .000
    Aroldis Chapman, P0000000 .000
   a- Jonny Gomes, PH1000001 .211
    Francisco Cordero, P0000000 .000
Totals3047466  
a-hit into fielder's choice for Chapman in the 8th
Batting
HR - Drew Stubbs (13, Linebrink), Brandon Phillips (10, Beachy), Miguel Cairo (4, Beachy)
SH - Edgar Renteria (4)
RBI - Drew Stubbs (34), Brandon Phillips 2 (55), Miguel Cairo (20)
2-OUT RBI - Brandon Phillips 2 (18)
SB - Drew Stubbs (25, 2nd base off Beachy/McCann)
PK - Joey Votto (2, Beachy)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
DP - Cairo-B. Phillips-Votto, Renteria-Votto
E - Jay Bruce (4, Misplayed grounder), Miguel Cairo (1, Misplayed grounder)
Cincinnati Reds
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Dontrelle Willis 6.1633331 3.71
Nick Masset0100000 3.31
Aroldis Chapman 1.2000010 4.44
Francisco Cordero (W,4-3) 1100020 2.74
WP - Dontrelle Willis (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Dontrelle Willis 89-58, Nick Masset 1-1, Aroldis Chapman 9-8, Francisco Cordero 19-13
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Dontrelle Willis 11-4, Aroldis Chapman 1-2
Batters Faced - Dontrelle Willis 27, Nick Masset 1, Aroldis Chapman 4, Francisco Cordero 4
Game Information
Attendance - 33036
Game Time - 2:48
Temperature - 80
Umpires - Home - Lance Barksdale, First Base - Alfonso Marquez, Second Base - Ed Hickox, Third Base - Ed Rapuano