Braves Lose Series To Reds, End Road Trip 3-6

The Braves were knocked down by the Reds, and end up losing all three series on their nine-game road trip.

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Braves Can't Muster Any Offense To Support Hanson

The gist of the loss:

Tommy Hanson was on his game this afternoon, but the Braves offense stranded too many runners and Alex Gonzalez made a crucial error which lead to the Reds go-ahead run. Brandon Phillips dropped a triple just out of Jason Heyward’s reach and then Orlando Cabrera rolled over to Gonzalez but he couldn’t transfer the ball from his glove hand and Cabrera reached safely at first.

Read the rest at Talking Chop.

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One Paragraph Recap: Offense Sputters As Braves Lose 5-2

The Braves scored twice in the first inning off of Reds starter Bronson Arroyo but could not muster another run afterward despite numerous chances. Jair Jurrjens gave up a solo home run to Scott Rolen in the fourth inning but otherwise pitched very well for his first six innings. Unfortunately, he fell apart in the seventh inning and Bobby Cox was too slow to pull him. Jay Bruce singled in a run to tie the game at two, then Ryan Hanigan hit a ball into the left-center field gap that scored two runs. When the ball flukily slipped out of Melky Cabrera’s hand as he was throwing, Hanigan was able to come all the way around to score, making it 5-2, Reds. The throwing error turned out not to matter because the next batter singled, but it was an embarrassing play that pretty much summed up the Braves’ poor game. Right before the game, the Braves traded for Rick Ankiel and Kyle Farnsworth, so perhaps they will give the team a spark of energy. With Martin Prado hurt (see below), they need someone else to step up.

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Prado Has Broken Knuckle, Out 7-10 Days

According to ESPN, Braves All-Star Martin Prado has a broken knuckle on his right pinkie finger. The injury will require him to sit out for at least a week. The Braves have not yet decided whether to place Prado on the disabled list.

Despite the news, Braves fans are likely breathing a small sigh of relief, as Prado’s injury could have easily been worse.

The Braves have yet to make any trades with the non-waiver deadline looming only two hours away. There is no word yet if Prado’s injury has changed their plans.

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Heyward Does It Again, Braves Topple Reds 6-4 In Ten Innings

In a possible postseason preview between two first-place teams, the Braves and Reds staged a thrilling, back-and-forth affair Friday night. The game featured huge home runs, a home run- (and game-) saving catch, clutch strikeouts, and and yet another late-inning, go-ahead hit from Jason Heyward. The win came at a cost for the Braves, though: both starting pitcher Kris Medlen and All-Star second baseman Martin Prado left the game with injuries.

The Reds took a 3-1 lead in the third inning when Medlen allowed four straight two-out hits. Brian McCann evened the score in the fifth inning with another huge, game-tying home run (he's made a habit of those lately). Unfortunately, in the next inning, Kris Medlen was hit on the right (pitching) arm by a pitch from Reds starter Johnny Cueto. While the Braves would score moments later to make it 4-3, they would leave the bases loaded. To make matters worse, Medlen would not return to the mound. Early reports are that his injury was just an arm contusion, which likely means he won't miss much time.

The score remained the 4-3 until the eighth inning, when Reds slugger Joey Votto hit a towering solo homer off of Jonny Venters to tie it at 4. In the ninth inning, Brooks Conrad pinch hit for the Braves against Reds closer Francisco Cordero--the same pitcher who surrendered Conrad's memorable walk-off grand slam earlier this year. In an eerie replay, Conrad hit a fly ball that just cleared the fence, only this time right fielder Chris Heisey made a leaping catch to bring it back in the park.

Jesse Chavez worked a scoreless ninth inning for the Braves. In the 10th, Melky Cabrera and Prado worked walks off of Cordero, bringing up Heyward, who lined a single to left that scored Cabrera. When left-fielder Jonny Gomes couldn't corral the liner on the bounce, Prado came all the way around from first to score. Prado hurt himself on the slide, though; his right hand appeared to get caught under his body. There's no word yet on the severity of the injury.

Billy Wagner gave up a double and hit a batter in the bottom of the 10th but struck out Drew Stubbs to end the game. Braves win 6-4.

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