It was tough to imagine the Atlanta Braves getting much of anything going heading into this week's series with the Reds. Chipper Jones was out with an ankle bruise, Brian McCann was sidelined with the flu and Freddie Freeman was having issues with his eyes yet again. Following three rough games in Cincinnati to begin the four-game series, the Braves lost yet again on Thursday night by a score of 6-3.
Michael Bourn hit his third homer in the series, a two-run shot in the fifth that gave Atlanta a brief 2-1 lead. The wheels would shortly fall off after, as Randall Delgado loaded the bases before departing for Kris Medlen. After falling behind in the count, Medlen guided a fastball to Reds catcher Devin Mesoraco, who deposited the ball just inside the left field foul line to give the Reds a commanding 5-2 lead.
Juan Francisco brought his club within two runs run with a solo homer in the top of the seventh, but Drew Stubbs promptly responded in the bottom half of the fame with a solo home run of his own.
Atlanta put two runners on base in the ninth inning with only one out, but Francisco's 3-6-1 double play ended the threat. The Braves have now lost four in a row and five of their last six, their worst stretch of the 2012 season.
This team simply needs to get healthy right now. It's tough to win too many games without Chipper in the lineup, never mind both McCann and Freeman having to sit.
For more on the Braves' struggles, check out Talking Chop.