Big eighth inning lifts Reds over Braves

Cincinnati 3, Atlanta 1

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ATLANTA — Brandon Phillips wasn’t sure what pitch he hit from Jonny Venters. He just knew it gave the Reds the lead.

Cincinnati's Brandon Phillips watches his RBI double in the eighth inning Monday night. The hit came off Atlanta's Jonny Venters, who gave up three hits and two RBI in the inning.  JOHN BAZEMORE/ASSOCIATED PRESS
JOHN BAZEMORE/ASSOCIATED PRESS
Cincinnati's Brandon Phillips watches his RBI double in the eighth inning Monday night. The hit came off Atlanta's Jonny Venters, who gave up three hits and two RBI in the inning.

Phillips drove in the go-ahead run with a double high off the center field wall and the Cincinnati Reds scored two runs off Jonny Venters in the eighth inning to beat the Atlanta Braves 3-1 on Monday night.

Phillips laughed when asked what pitch Venters threw.

“To tell you the truth, I told everybody I didn’t know,” Phillips said. “I think it was a slider. I think he hung a slider down the middle.

“I was just trying to find something to drive and stay down the middle because I’d been getting jammed all day. I just said, ‘I’ve got to get the head (of the bat) out some kind of way.’ He left one right there and I just took advantage of it.”

Venters confirmed it was a slider.

Venters (2-2) gave up three hits and two runs in one inning. He has a blown save and a loss in his last three appearances.

“My arm feels good,” Venters said. “I’m not making the pitches.

“I’m making a lot of noncompetitive pitches. Pitches that guys aren’t even thinking about offering at. And then making even worse pitches over the plate and they’re hitting the ball hard.”

The game was tied 1-1 when Drew Stubbs led off the eighth with an infield hit between the pitcher’s mound and third base. Stubbs moved to second base on a wild pitch from Venters. With one out, Phillips drove in Stubbs with the double.

“To tell you the truth, I’m just happy I hit the ball out of the infield,” Phillips said.

Chris Heisey added another double, his third hit of the game, to drive in Phillips.

Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman left the game after the seventh inning with blurred vision in his right eye. He left Turner Field to be examined by Dr. Alan Kozarsky, the team’s eye specialist.

Sean Marshall pitched the ninth for his sixth save. Pinch-hitter Matt Diaz was stranded at first base after hitting a leadoff single.

The Braves began the night in sole possession of first place in the NL East for the first time this season but fell a half-game behind Washington after the Nationals beat San Diego on Monday night.

Reds starter Homer Bailey allowed six hits and one run in 6⅔ innings.

Atlanta’s Randall Delgado allowed one unearned run on four hits and three walks with four strikeouts in 6⅔ innings.

TODAY’S GAME

WHO: Cincinnati Reds (Johnny Cueto, 4-0, 1.12) at Atlanta Braves (Tim Hudson, 1-1, 4.50)

TIME/TV: 7:10 p.m., SportSouth


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