|Atlanta (19-12) «||1||1||0||1||1||0||0||3||0||7||11||1|
CINCINNATI -- Andrelton Simmons is starting to get noticed for more than those amazing defensive plays.
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The Braves won at a place where they've had little success lately. They were 0-4 at Great American Ball Park last year and 14-25 overall since it opened for the 2003 season.
Simmons led the way on offense, something he hasn't had to do very often. The first multihomer game of his career allowed the Braves to get ahead and pull away.
"When all is said and done after this year, we're going to be talking about him as one of the best shortstops in baseball," catcher Brian McCann said.
Simmons worked on his swing when Saturday's game against the Mets was rained out, trying to keep his bat back a little longer so he could generate more power. The work is quickly paying off.
"That rainout really helped," said Simmons, who has four homers. "I feel like I'm where I want to be right now."
He showed a little more defense, too. His best play came in the seventh, when he caught a hurried throw between his legs and tagged out out Shin-Soo Choo as he tried to steal second base.
"He's pretty acrobatic," manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "I remember someone asking me in spring training: What's the best defensive play he's made? It's the next one. It's one after another with him."
Paul Maholm (4-3) held down an offense that's been all-or-nothing. The left-hander allowed four hits and two runs in 5 2/3 innings. Cincinnati stranded five runners in scoring position overall.
Atlanta scored in four of five innings against Bronson Arroyo (2-4), who gave up eight hits, walked two and allowed four runs in his shortest outing of the season.
"They have a really powerful lineup with a lot of threats, which makes you be a little more nitpicky," Arroyo said. "You end up throwing a lot more pitches than you normally would. You'd think the only guy you don't worry about hitting home runs is the eighth guy [Simmons], and he ends up taking me deep."
Simmons had a solo shot and an RBI single off Arroyo. He added a two-run homer in the eighth off Logan Ondrusek, matching his career high for hits.
Freddie Freeman also singled and doubled and drove in a run off Arroyo, who needed 98 pitches to get through five innings. Jordan Schafer added his first career pinch-hit homer as the Braves pulled away.
The injury-sapped Braves got a little closer to full strength when McCann was activated off the disabled list, completing a comeback from surgery on his throwing shoulder last October. The six-time All-Star catcher started and went 0 for 4 with a walk.
"Felt great," McCann said. "The first day couldn't have gone any better."
Right fielder Jason Heyward also increased his workout activities while recovering from surgery to remove his appendix on April 22. The Braves will decide by the end of the week whether he's ready to start a rehab assignment in the minors.
The Braves made it tough on Arroyo from the outset. Freeman singled home a run in the first inning, but Atlanta left the bases loaded when Dan Uggla struck out.
Simmons led off the second inning with a homer down the third-base line. Uggla opened the fourth with his second triple of the season -- a ball into the gap in right-center field -- and scored on Simmons' single off the glove of Zack Cozart in the hole at shortstop for a 3-0 lead.
Evan Gattis doubled home a run in the fifth off Arroyo. The Braves pulled away with three runs in the eighth off Ondrusek.
Votto doubled home a run in the eighth inning, extending his hitting streak to nine games.
|Shortstop Andrelton Simmons connects for two homers and a career-high four RBI in the Braves' win over the Reds. (Getty Images)|
|Players of the Game|
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|B.J. Upton, CF||4||0||0||0||1||4||2||.148|
|Chris Johnson, 3B||4||1||0||0||1||2||2||.323|
|Craig Kimbrel, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Justin Upton, RF||4||1||2||0||1||1||0||.286|
|Freddie Freeman, 1B||5||0||2||1||0||1||2||.319|
|Evan Gattis, LF||4||0||1||1||0||1||3||.260|
|Jordan Walden, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Eric O'Flaherty, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a- Ramiro Pena, PH-3B||1||0||0||0||0||1||1||.293|
|Brian McCann, C||4||0||0||0||1||1||3||.000|
|Dan Uggla, 2B||4||2||2||0||0||2||4||.196|
|Andrelton Simmons, SS||4||2||3||4||0||1||0||.252|
|Paul Maholm, P||3||0||0||0||0||1||0||.125|
|Cory Gearrin, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Luis Avilan, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|b- Jordan Schafer, PH-LF||1||1||1||1||0||0||0||.278|
|a-struck out for O'Flaherty in the 9th|
|b-homered for Avilan in the 8th|
|2B - Freddie Freeman (4, Arroyo), Evan Gattis (8, Arroyo)|
|3B - Dan Uggla (2, Arroyo)|
|HR - Andrelton Simmons 2 (4, Arroyo, Ondrusek), Jordan Schafer (1, Ondrusek)|
|RBI - Freddie Freeman (16), Evan Gattis (19), Andrelton Simmons 4 (15), Jordan Schafer (3)|
|2-OUT RBI - Andrelton Simmons 2 (2), Jordan Schafer (2)|
|Team LOB - 8|
|E - Evan Gattis (3, Misplayed grounder)|
|Paul Maholm (W,4-3)||5.2||4||2||2||2||6||0||3.09|
|Cory Gearrin (H,1)||0.2||0||0||0||0||1||0||1.26|
|Luis Avilan (H,4)||0.2||0||0||0||1||1||0||3.27|
|Eric O'Flaherty (H,10)||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||1.93|
|Craig Kimbrel (S,10)||1||2||0||0||0||1||0||2.13|
|HBP - Choo (by Paul Maholm)|
|WP - Cory Gearrin (2)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Paul Maholm 105-64, Cory Gearrin 10-5, Luis Avilan 11-5, Jordan Walden 11-6, Eric O'Flaherty 11-7, Craig Kimbrel 17-11|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Paul Maholm 9-2, Cory Gearrin 1-0, Eric O'Flaherty 2-1|
|Batters Faced - Paul Maholm 24, Cory Gearrin 2, Luis Avilan 2, Jordan Walden 3, Eric O'Flaherty 3, Craig Kimbrel 5|
|Shin-Soo Choo, CF||3||0||1||0||1||1||1||.331|
|Zack Cozart, SS||5||2||2||0||0||2||4||.207|
|Joey Votto, 1B||4||2||1||1||1||1||4||.320|
|Brandon Phillips, 2B||4||0||2||1||0||0||0||.288|
|Jay Bruce, RF||4||0||0||1||0||2||2||.246|
|Todd Frazier, 3B||4||0||1||1||0||1||1||.239|
|Devin Mesoraco, C||4||0||0||0||0||1||3||.224|
|Derrick Robinson, LF||1||0||1||0||1||0||0||.286|
|a- Cesar Izturis, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.161|
|Logan Ondrusek, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|J.J. Hoover, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|b- Xavier Paul, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.265|
|Bronson Arroyo, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Alfredo Simon, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.500|
|c- Donald Lutz, PH-LF||2||0||1||0||0||1||0||.200|
|a-grounded out for D. Robinson in the 7th|
|b-lined out for Hoover in the 9th|
|c-struck out for Simon in the 7th|
|2B - Zack Cozart (4, Walden), Joey Votto (7, Walden), Brandon Phillips (8, Maholm)|
|SH - Bronson Arroyo 2 (4)|
|RBI - Joey Votto (13), Brandon Phillips (28), Jay Bruce (16), Todd Frazier (24)|
|CS - Shin-Soo Choo (1, 2nd base by Avilan/McCann)|
|Team LOB - 8|
|DP - Cozart-B. Phillips-Votto|
|E - Devin Mesoraco (3, Throwing)|
|Bronson Arroyo (L,2-4)||5||8||4||4||2||7||1||4.30|
|Pitches-Strikes - Bronson Arroyo 95-66, Alfredo Simon 26-19, Logan Ondrusek 31-15, J.J. Hoover 17-9|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Bronson Arroyo 6-2, Logan Ondrusek 1-1|
|Batters Faced - Bronson Arroyo 25, Alfredo Simon 6, Logan Ondrusek 7, J.J. Hoover 4|
|Attendance - 19308|
|Game Time - 3:21|
|Temperature - 64|
|Umpires - Home - Mark Wegner, First Base - Laz Diaz, Second Base - Tim Timmons, Third Base - Mike Winters|