Mesoraco's Slam Sends Reds Over Braves 6-3

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

CINCINNATI (AP) -- The beat-up Braves just wanted to leave.
Reds rookie catcher Devin Mesoraco capped a series full of
homers with his first career grand slam on Thursday night, leading
Cincinnati to a 6-3 victory and a four-game sweep.
Atlanta has played 16 of its last 20 games on the road. The
Braves won nine of those first 12 road games, then fell apart in
Cincinnati, where they hadn't been swept in a four-game series
since 1980 at Riverfront Stadium.
"Oh, I'm so ready to go home," said reliever Kris Medlen, who
gave up the slam in the sixth. "It's been a super-long month on
the road."
Now, the Braves have their first four-game losing streak since
they dropped the first four games of the season. They'll remember
this one as four bad days in one of the majors' most homer-friendly
ballparks.
In a free-swinging series, they couldn't keep up.
It didn't help that they were missing two of their top hitters.
Third baseman Chipper Jones was limited to one pinch-hit appearance because of a bruised left calf. Catcher Brian McCann missed the last three games with an illness.
"They're definitely rolling right now," catcher David Ross
said of the Reds. "They've got a lot of confidence. Their pitching
staff is better than I think people give them credit for. And we're
a little banged up right now, not 100 percent."
The Reds have won six straight, their longest winning streak
since August 2010 when they started their push toward the NL
Central title by taking seven in a row.
The teams combined for 16 homers -- 13 solo shots -- accounting
for 21 of the 24 runs in the series.
Mesoraco connected after Medlen relieved Randall Delgado (2-5)
with the bases loaded in the sixth. Drew Stubbs added a solo shot
for Cincinnati.
Homer Bailey (3-3) gave up four hits in six innings, including
Michael Bourn's two-run homer. Bailey got back-to-back wins for the
first time this season, coming off a victory in Yankee Stadium on
Saturday.
Logan Ondrusek pitched the ninth for his second save in three
chances, giving up a pair of singles before getting a double play.
Cincinnati won the series opener with four solo homers, three of
them in a row. Todd Frazier's solo shot in the ninth on Wednesday
night sent them to a 2-1 win, the first game-ending homer of his
career.
Frazier also doubled home the first run off Delgado, who gave up
seven hits and three walks in 5 1-3 innings. Delgado hasn't won
since April 17, going 0-5 with two no-decisions.
"I just thought that one inning unraveled on him a little
bit," manager Fredi Gonzalez said.
Cincinnati's third grand slam of the season provided the
finishing touch.
Mesoraco, who hadn't homered since April 27, pulled a 2-0
fastball that stayed just inside the left-field foul pole. He
walked a few feet down the line, holding his bat while watching to
see if the ball stayed fair, then put his head down and rounded the
bases on his fourth major league homer.
He wasn't the only one watching to see if the ball would slice
foul.
"I was standing there (in suspense) just as long as he was,"
Medlen said. "I saw it was 10 feet to the right of the pole before
it got there."
The 23,312 fans also made Mesoraco come out for a curtain call.
Bourn hit a two-run homer in the fifth off Bailey, his third
homer of the series. He also had his first multihomer game during
the series. Juan Francisco added a solo homer.
The Reds honored Jones before the game, presenting him with one
of the bases as a memento of his last trip to Cincinnati. Jones
plans to retire after the season. He got a standing ovation from
the crowd after highlights of his career were shown on the video
board.
NOTES: The Braves return home for a six-game series against
Washington and St. Louis. The Reds conclude a weekend homestand with a weekend series against Colorado. ... Reds reliever Nick Masset made about 30 throws before the game, the first time he's thrown a ball while recovering from an inflamed right shoulder.
He's scheduled to throw again on Friday. The setup man has been on
the DL since spring training.


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