Cincinnati (68-81) at Atlanta (88-62)

Partly Cloudy Currently: Atlanta, GA
Temp: 78° F
  • Game info: 7:35 pm EDT Tue Sep 21, 2004
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The Atlanta Braves hope a return home will help them solve their recent hitting woes as they open a three-game series with the lowly Cincinnati Reds.

Atlanta missed a chance at a three-game sweep of the Florida Marlins, collecting just three hits in a 3-0 loss Sunday.

The Braves have been held to four or fewer hits in three of their last six games. The Braves, closing in on their 13th straight division title, hope to end their slump as they prepare for the postseason.

“This game, in general, is a roller coaster,” Braves second baseman Marcus Giles said. “But you can’t say we’re in a funk. One day our bats didn’t show up, but we’re headed home for a nine-game homestand. We’ll be fine.”

Atlanta failed to muster much offense Sunday even though manager Bobby Cox stayed mostly with his regular lineup. The Braves, however, were missing right fielder J.D. Drew, who was a late scratch because of a flu-like symptoms. He is expected to play Tuesday.

Drew’s replacement, Dewayne Wise, batted third for the first time this season and went 0-for-3. Wise is batting .222 in 144 at-bats.

Cincinnati has lost four of five after winning two straight.

The Reds had three hits in a 5-1 loss to the Chicago Cubs on Sunday. They’ve allowed 36 runs in their last five games.

D’Angelo Jimenez went 0-for-4 Sunday after hitting safely in 12 of his previous 15 games. He batted .340 (18-for-53) in that stretch to raise his average to .264.

“I feel comfortable at the plate,” he said. “But I’m having the luck. I’ve been hitting the ball hard all year. Lately, I’ve been finding some gaps.”

The Reds are opening a 10-game road trip. They’ve lost three straight on the road.

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Starting Pitchers

B. Claussen Was vs. J. Thomson KC
2-8 Record 14-8
6.14 ERA 3.72
45 K 133
35 BB 52
1.74 WHIP 1.32