Atlanta (35-32) at Cincinnati (26-41)

Thunderstorms Currently: Cincinnati, OH, US
Temp: 78° F
  • Game info: 7:10 pm EDT Sat Jun 18, 2005
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Regardless of what happens the rest of the weekend, the Atlanta Braves’ run of six straight series losses is over.

The Braves will next try to put themselves in position for a four-game sweep of the Cincinnati Reds when the teams continue their series at Great American Ball Park.

Since sweeping the New York Mets in a three-game set at Turner Field from May 23-25, the Braves had lost 13 of 19 before taking the first two games of this wraparound set.

Kelly Johnson hit a grand slam and a two-run homer for a career-high six RBIs, and Andruw Jones also homered twice to lead the Braves to a 10-5 win on Friday.

“We got to come out early and hit on the field,” Johnson said. “Then we had a little powwow about making mental adjustments. Then I hit a first-pitch fastball with the bases loaded. That’s what the powwow was about. We talked about aggressiveness.”

Wilson Betemit also connected for the Braves, who matched their season high with five homers. Jones hit solo home runs in the third and fifth, tying Chicago’s Derrek Lee for the NL lead with 18.

“We need one of these games to get everyone going,” Jones said. “We have a good ballclub, even with all of the young guys.”

The Reds have lost five straight games, and are now a season-high 15 games below .500.

Struggling left-hander Eric Milton will try to end his team’s losing streak, as well as turn his season around when he takes the mound on Saturday.

Milton, the centerpiece of the Reds’ offseason when he signed a $25.5 million, three-year deal, is going through the worst season of his career.

On Monday, Milton allowed a career high-tying nine runs in a 10-3 loss to Boston. The veteran left-hander has given up at least six runs in six of his last eight starts, going 1-6 with a 9.63 ERA in that span.

“We made a few changes mechanically. I felt a lot stronger,” Milton said Monday. “It’s been 14 starts already. I figured I’d have things worked out by now.”

Milton has allowed 66 hits, including 11 home runs, in his last 43 innings.

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Starting Pitchers

J. Sosa MIA vs. E. Milton LAD
13-3 Record 8-15
2.55 ERA 6.47
85 K 123
64 BB 52
1.39 WHIP 1.55