(SportsNetwork.com) – The Atlanta Braves look to break out of their slump when
they continue a four-game series Friday versus the Cincinnati Reds.
The Braves lost Thursday’s opener of this set by a 5-1 score, as Reds starting
pitcher Mike Leake twirled eight scoreless innings of two-hit ball. Shelby
Miller started for Atlanta and was dealt the loss for giving up three runs,
two of which were earned, in seven innings.
“He did an outstanding job,” Braves catcher Christian Bethancourt said of
Leake. “He controlled the bats pretty well. You have to take your hat off to
Freddie Freeman drove in the lone run for the Braves, who have lost three in a
row and eight of their last 10 games.
Atlanta lost two of three games versus the Washington Nationals to start this
10-game stay at Turner Field and will also host the Philadelphia Phillies.
The Braves lost third baseman Chris Johnson to a hand injury when he slid
headfirst into second base during the fourth inning. He sustained a fractured
left hand and was out on the play. Johnson was immediately placed on the
disabled list and has a .279 batting average with no homers and five RBI.
“Being on the DL will stink for me because I just want to be out there and
playing baseball,” Johnson said. “But it will get better and I’ll get back.”
Mike Foltynewicz will make his first career start for the Braves Friday and
was recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett. The right-hander has never faced
Cincinnati and went 0-1 with a 5.30 ERA in 16 relief appearances with the
Houston Astros last season.
The Reds have prevailed in three of their last four games and opened a 10-game
trek on a high note last night. Leake was brilliant on the mound and received
plenty of support in home runs from Billy Hamilton, Todd Frazier and Tucker
Leake helped his own cause with a home run and followed Barnhart’s blast to
lead off the seventh inning.
“I’ve never went back-to-back with my battery mate,” Barnhart said. “It was
Cincinnati will also visit the Pittsburgh Pirates and Chicago White Sox on
this road trip.
Taking the mound for the Reds on Friday will be Anthony DeSclafani. DeSclafani
has a 2-1 record and a 1.04 earned run average, and had a personal two-game
winning streak cut short with Sunday’s 5-2 loss to the Chicago Cubs.
DeSclafani gave up five runs — one earned — in five innings against the Cubs
and was coming off consecutive scoreless performances. The right-hander has
won both of his road starts and will face Atlanta for the first time.
The Reds went 2-5 against the Braves last season, losing the first five
meetings between the ballclubs.