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Reds Vs. Braves: Jair Jurrjens, Martin Prado Carry Atlanta To 2-1 Victory Over Cincinnati

Martin Prado's two-run home run in the sixth inning provided the winning margin for the Braves, who thanks to Jair Jurrjens, didn't need much offense. Jurrjens was splendid, allowing only a second inning home run to Jay Bruce over his eight innings of work. 

Atlanta once again couldn't muster a lot of offense against Cincinnati starter Johnny Cueto. Like Jurrjens, Cueto was solid, pitching eight innings and only allowing the Prado home run. Both Jurrjens and Cueto provided some relief to both team's recently overworked bullpens. 

The Reds lone run came on a one out home run by Jay Bruce that was blasted into the right center field bleachers at Turner Field. The homer was Bruce's National League leading 15th of the season and it gave the Reds a 1-0 lead. 

Cueto stymied the Braves early but they had a chance in the fourth. After a Dan Uggla ground out, Alex Gonzalez and David Ross followed with solid singles bringing Jurrjens to the plate. Reds catcher Ramon Hernandez quickly pounced on Jurrjens' bunt attempt and started the rare 2-5-3 double play ending the inning. 

Atlanta came back in the sixth. Jordan Schafer worked a lead off walk from Cueto and Martin Prado launched his seventh home run of the season into the left field bleachers giving Atlanta a 2-1 lead. 

Cincinnati threatened in the eighth after Paul Janish led off the inning with a single. Cueto sacrificed him to second and Jurrjens got Drew Stubbs to strike out on a check swing foul ball that David Ross was able to hold onto. Brandon Phillips then stepped into the box with a chance to tie the game and promptly stroked a hard hit single to left field. Martin Prado got a good jump on the ball and fired a strike to home plate to nab Janish trying to score.

Craig Kimbrel relieved Jurrjens in the ninth and walked the lead off hitter Joey Votto. He then induced Scott Rolen to pop up before striking out Jay Bruce on three pitches the last of which was a 99 mph fastball at the letters. After a Fred Lewis single put the tying run in scoring position, Kimbrel struck out Ramon Hernandez to end the game and to earn his 15th save of the season.

Jurrjens scattered six hits over his eight innings of work, striking out five while walking two. He improves his ERA to a minuscule 1.51. 

Cueto deserved a better fate as he allowed five hits while also pitching eight innings for the Reds. The loss evens his record at 2-2 this season.

Five different Braves had hits including David Ross who got the start while Brian McCann rested after catching all 12 innings of Saturday's game. Jay Bruce and Paul Janish each had two hits for the Reds. 

Atlanta takes two out of the three games in the series and now stands at 30-24 on the season.  

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.