Reds 8, Braves 4

The SportsXchange

ATLANTA - The All-Star break is coming at a good time for the banged-up Atlanta Braves. Cincinnati Reds center fielder Shin-Soo Choo, though, would probably rather keep on playing.

Choo extended his hitting streak to 12 games and hit his 13th homer as the Reds defeated the Braves 8-4 on Sunday to split the four-game series at Turner Field.

Choo, who turned 31 on Saturday, went 2-for-3 with two walks in his fifth consecutive multi-hit game and is 21-for-49 during the hitting streak. He was 8-for-16 and scored seven runs in the series.

Jay Bruce, who was 3-for-5, hit his 19th homer, and the Reds got five innings from their bullpen against a depleted Braves lineup. Logan Ondrusek (3-0) pitched two scoreless innings for the victory.

The Braves lost outfielders Jason Heyward (hamstring), B.J. Upton (abductor) and Justin Upton (calf) in the first two games of the series and were without first baseman Freddie Freeman on Sunday after he jammed his left thumb on a tag Saturday.

B.J. Upton was put on the disabled list Sunday and Evan Gattis was activated from the disabled list to fill-in at first for Freeman, who will not play in the All-Star Game.

Reds starter Tony Cingrani was pulled after throwing 96 pitches and allowing two tainted runs in four innings. He gave up four hits, walked three and struck out five.

Third baseman Todd Frazier lost a two-out popup in the sun, leading to a second-inning run for the Braves. But Cingani caught Jose Contanza's liner to get out of a bases-loaded jam and then had a bunt single to start the Reds' four-run third.

Joey Votto drove in a run with a double, another scored on a ground out, and Bruce smashed a two-run homer into the right field seats as Braves starter Julio Teheran hung a 1-0 slider. It was the Reds' first homer in five games.

Shortstop Zack Cosart's throwing error gave the Braves an unearned run in the bottom of the third, but Choo picked on a 1-0 pitch and went deep to the opposite field against Teheran leading off the fifth.

Teheran (7-5) had posted a 1.79 ERA in his past seven home starts, but he allowed five runs and seven hits over 5 1/3 innings against the Reds.

Dan Uggla hit his 18th homer of the season in the eighth inning on Sam LeCure's first pitch, but the Reds scored three runs in the ninth, highlighted by Brandon Phillips two-run double.

Andrelton Simmons hit his eighth homer of the season off Reds closer Aroldis Chapman in a non-save situation in the ninth.

NOTES: Braves C Brian McCann was selected to replace Freeman in the All-Star Game. It will be his seventh appearance. ... Freeman, who will still travel to New York, won the final vote for a spot on the NL team. ... Gattis played in two minor league rehab games, going 1-for-8 with a double and three strikeouts for Triple-A Gwinnett at Durham. ... The Braves play an interleague series against the White Sox in Chicago after the All-Star break, with RHP Tim Hudson (6-7) slated to start the Friday opener. ... The Reds will begin a three-game home series with NL Central rival Pittsburgh on Friday. ... The Reds, 30-16 at home, haven't won a road series since taking three of four from the Chicago Cubs on June 10-13.
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