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Reds Utilize the Long Ball To Beat Atlanta 4-1

Atlanta couldn't figure out how to get to Mike Leake.
Atlanta couldn't figure out how to get to Mike Leake.

Atlanta mustered only two hits offensively and fell to Cincinnati 4-1 Monday night.

Mike Minor came into today's game needing a good start. Unfortunately, that didn't happen. Issues with home runs have been hurting Minor in 2012, and they showed up again tonight.

It started early, as he allowed a home run to Drew Stubbs with one out in the first to make it 1-0. Minor had two strikes on him, but left a pitch over the plate and down, allowing Stubbs to knock it out.

Juan Francisco responded in the top of the second inning against Reds starter Mike Leake. Francisco turned on an inside and low slider and golfed it over the fence down the right field line for a solo home run. It was a pretty funny moment, as he posed for a couple seconds and added a nice bat flip for kicks.

Minor flirted with disaster again the second, as he loaded the bases for Joey Votto with two outs. However, he got Votto to pop out to left field on a 3-2 pitch to escape the jam.

After a scoreless third, Minor had some trouble again with the long ball in the fourth. The left-hander surrendered back-to-back-to-back home runs to Leake, Zack Cozart, and Stubbs. That makes it 11 home runs that Minor has given up in his last six starts including tonight.

Those homers made it 4-1 Reds.

A couple of the balls that were hit out may not have been in other ballparks, but it's safe to say that Minor and Great American Ballpark don't mix well.

Minor's rough night garnered most of the attention, but the bigger story was the fact that Atlanta managed just two hits against Leake, who has been awful this year.

He allowed only two hits and the one run in eight innings while striking out six and walking one. The right-hander needed only 98 pitches in those eight innings, and pounded the strike zone to the tune of 68 strikes.

The Braves attempted to rally in the ninth with Reds closer Aroldis Chapman unavailable.

Against Jose Arredondo, Atlanta put runners on first and second with two outs for Jason Heyward. Left-hander Sean Marshall entered, and after a wild pitch moved runners to second and third, he got Heyward to pop out to right for the final out.

Tomorrow night's game is at 7:10 PM ET as Brandon Beachy takes on Mat Latos.

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