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Cincinnatti Reds Win Series Over Atlanta Braves in Walk-off Fashion

July 25th, 2011 at 8:40 AM
By Cody Fields

It took the Atlanta Braves seven innings to pull even with the Cincinnati Reds in the series finale Sunday. It took one pitch in the bottom of the ninth for the Reds to win it.

Scott Linebrink served up a thigh-high fastball that caught too much of the outside part of the plate to start the bottom of the ninth, and Drew Stubbs wasted no time driving it to right field for his 13th homer of the year. The bomb gave Cincinnati a 4-3 win and the series.

The crushing loss leaves Atlanta with a 3-4 record on their road trip and six games behind the Philadelphia Phillies for the division lead.

The game did not start pretty for the Braves. The first inning saw Martin Prado commit and error to allow Stubbs to reach. Later in the inning, Brandon Phillips hit an opposite field homer to give the Reds a 2-0 lead. Brandon Beachy kept trying to be too perfect with his pitches, and Miguel Cairo made him pay with a solo shot in the second inning.

It was the sixth straight game the Braves have given up runs in the first inning.

Beachy mostly settled after the second inning for a quality start. He went six innings and gave up just the three runs – one earned – on five hits and four walks.

His counterpart Dontrelle Willis put out a similar effort. His 6 1/3 innings also saw him give up three runs.

Willis struggled through the fourth inning. Brian McCann led off with a 446-foot home run that was about five rows from leaving the stadium altogether. Two batters later, Freddie Freeman doubled to right, followed by a single up the middle by Alex Gonzalez. With runners on the corners, Wilkin Ramirez drove in Freeman via fielder's choice.

Ramirez then handed Willis a gift for the final out of the inning by getting picked off.

The seventh inning brought the Braves' last run by way of Nate McLouth hitting a one-out single, advancing to second on a wild pitch and being driven in by Julio Lugo's third hit in 23 at-bats this year, which chased Willis from the game.

Reds manager Dusty Baker brought in Nick Masset to face Prado. He threw one pitch that resulted in a single by Prado, prompting Baker to bring Aroldis Chapman to throw to Jason Heyward with one out and two on. Chapman got Heyward to roll over into a double play to end the inning and the threat.

The crushing loss leaves Atlanta with a 3-4 record on their road trip and six games behind the Philadelphia Phillies for the division lead.

The Braves go back home Monday for a four-game set against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Tim Hudson (9-6, 3.39 ERA) will square off against Pittsburgh's James McDonald (6-4, 4.15 ERA) at 7:10 p.m.

Tags: Aroldis Chapman, Atlanta, Atlanta Braves, Brandon Beachy, Brandon Phillips, Brian McCann, Cincinnati Reds, Dontrelle Willis, Drew Stubbs, MLB, Scott Linebrink

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