CINCINNATI (AP) -- In a game that featured four home runs, a bunt
by a pitcher helped Atlanta to another win.
"Davies is a good athlete," Atlanta manager Bobby Cox said.
"He can bunt, he can run and he can hit."
Francoeur and Rafael Furcal each drove in two runs to help
Davies improve to 4-1 in his last seven starts. The first-place
Braves maintained their 4½-game lead over Washington in the NL
Davies (6-3) retired 11 of the first 12 batters he faced and
allowed four hits, three runs and three walks in 5 2-3 innings. His
seven strikeouts were one shy of matching the career high he set in
his last start Saturday against Pittsburgh.
"He made some pitches to get out of jams," Cox said. "It was
good to see him get out of some jams with strikeouts."
Former Red Chris Reitsma pitched a perfect ninth for his 15th
save in 19 opportunities.
"It's a good way to end the series," Cox said. "The game's
always in jeopardy here, no matter what the lead."
Reds starter Aaron Harang (7-10), who leads the team in wins,
gave up eight hits and four runs with three walks and one strikeout
in six innings.
Jones, who was tied with Cincinnati's Adam Dunn and Chicago's
Derrek Lee for the NL lead in homers, hit the first pitch he saw
from Harang in the third inning 434 feet to center field to give
Atlanta a 1-0 lead. Center fielder Ken Griffey Jr. just turned and
watched the ball hit the black batter's eye and bounce back onto
Davies walked Dunn and gave up a two-run homer to Casey with two
outs in the fourth. Casey's homer was his sixth of the season and
second at Great American Ball Park.
McCann led off the fifth with a single and moved to third on
Betemit's single. Betemit advanced on another bunt by Davies, and
McCann scored on Furcal's one-out sacrifice fly.
Davies issued back-to-back walks to open the fifth, but Harang
popped two bunt attempts foul before striking out looking. Ryan
Freel also struck out looking, and Felipe Lopez grounded out to end
"[Harang] helped by botching up the first two pitches," Davies
said. "Then, I was going for the strikeout. I felt good about
facing Freel because I've faced him in the minor leagues."
Francoeur greeted reliever Brian Shackelford with his seventh
homer of the season leading off the eighth. Casey hit his second
homer of the game in the bottom half, a two-out solo shot to
right-center field off Kyle Farnsworth. The Reds got two more
runners on base, but Edwin Encarnacion grounded out to end the
Atlanta added two more runs in the ninth on singles by Adam
LaRoche and Francoeur off David Weathers.
"This was the kind of game where, if we get the big hit in the
eighth to put us ahead and shut them down in the ninth, I would
have been happy with the win, but I wouldn't have been happy with
the way we played," Reds manager Jerry Narron said.
"I was disappointed. It just goes to show that, when you play
the best clubs in baseball, you've got to play a clean game. You
have to execute and do those things to beat a good ballclub."
Marcus Giles singled in the first inning to extend his
season-best hitting streak to nine games. ... Casey's homer also
gave him a nine-game hitting streak. His four RBI tied the season
high he set on May 18 at New York. The two-homer game was his first
of the season and 10th of his career. ... Harang struck out looking
twice to extend his league-worst hitless streak to 42 at-bats, the
longest of his career and the longest by a Reds batter since RHP
Jack Billingham went 0-for-67 in 1973 ... Atlanta is 14-3 in
McCann's 17 starts behind the plate. ... Reds LHP Eric Milton
turned 30 Thursday.