Braves 5, Reds 2

Guy Curtright, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

ATLANTA -- The Atlanta Braves didn't need their regular outfielders Saturday. Their replacements did just fine.
Reed Johnson, Jose Constanza and Joey Terdoslavich combined for seven hits off Cincinnati starter Homer Bailey, and Mike Minor helped himself at the plate in a 5-2 victory over the Reds before a crowd of 46,946 at Turner Field.
Minor (9-4) retired 15 of the last 16 batters he faced after a shaky first two innings and put the Braves ahead for good with a two-run double in the fifth inning.
The left-hander allowed two runs on six hits, walked one and struck out seven over seven innings.
Dan Uggla hit his 17th home run of the season for the Braves and Brian McCann connected for his 12th, but the big lift offensively came from the fill-in outfielders.
Constanza, called up from the minors after Justin Upton, B.J. Upton and Jason Heyward were all injured in the first two games of the series, had three hits and a run batted in.
Johnson and Terdoslavich, making his first major league start, each had two hits and scored a run.
Bailey (5-8) lost his second straight start after pitching a no-hitter against San Francisco on July 2 in Cincinnati, allowing four runs on 10 hits. He struck out seven and walked one in six innings.
Minor worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the first inning, but the Reds made it 2-0 in the second.
Zack Cozart scored on Corky Miller's groundout after a leadoff triple and Shin-Soo Choo, extending his hitting streak to 11 games, followed Chris Heisey's double with a RBI single.
McCann cut the Reds' lead in half with a home run off Bailey in the fourth, pulling a 95-mph 2-and-2 pitch into the right field seats. Then Minor helped himself as the Braves took the lead in the fifth.
After a single by Johnson and double by Terdoslavich, Minor lined a double over third base to give the Braves a 3-2 lead. Bailey was able to keep the score there, getting Uggla to pop up with the bases loaded after an intentional walk to McCann.
Minor retired 12 straight batters before Jay Bruce singled with one out in the sixth and faced the minimum in the inning when Bruce was caught stealing.
The Braves padded their lead to 4-2 against Bailey in the bottom of the inning, when Constanza delivered a RBI single.
Uggla's home run came off reliever Alfredo Simon in the seventh inning. The Reds put two on with two out in the eighth against Luis Avilan, but Bruce flied out to Johnson in deep center field to end the threat.
Braves closer Craig Kimbrel struck out the side in the ninth inning for his 26th save, including 16 in a row.
NOTES: LF Justin Upton (calf), CF B.J. Upton (abductor) and RF Heyward (hamstring) will be unavailable again Sunday. The Uptons were hurt Friday and Heyward the night before. ... With the starting outfielders out, LF Constanza was from promoted from Triple-A Gwinnett and put in the leadoff spot. He batted .303 in 42 games with the Braves in 2011 and .250 in 37 game last year. ... The make room for Constanza, the Braves optioned LHP Alex Wood to Gwinnett. The rookie pitched 3 2/3 innings in relief on Friday without allowing a hit. ... The finale of the four-game series on Sunday will match rookie starters. Braves RHP Julio Teheran (7-4, 3.09) will face LHP Tony Cingrani (3-1, 3.30).

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