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Braves homer three times, Mike Minor strikes out seven in 7-2 Atlanta win

Joe Robbins

After last night's ninth inning debacle that ended with back-to-back home runs, Atlanta went right back to work and washed away any ill effects by topping the Reds 7-2 and claiming the series win.

Dan Uggla smashed two home runs, Juan Francisco launched his first career grand slam, and the Braves got seven strong innings from left-hander Mike Minor to clinch the win. Minor allowed just three hits, one run (earned) while walking three and striking out seven. He accrued 17 whiffs on 117 total pitches.

Minor also worked out of a couple of jams, the first one occuring in the second inning. A Brandon Phillips doubled and walked to Jay Bruce and Todd Frazier loaded the bases with no outs for Donald Lutz. Lutz popped out to left field, and Evan Gattis launched a great throw home to Gerald Laird, who made an athletic tag on Phillips to get the double play and keep the run from scoring. Mesoraco followed with a groundout to end the jam

The Reds did get on the scoreboard first, however, as shortstop Zack Cozart hit his fifth home run of the season into the left field seats to make it a 1-0 game. Uggla finally got to Reds starter Mike Leake in the top of the fourth, lining his sixth homer of the season out to left to tie things up at one. He added his second of the game in the sixth to make it a 2-1 game.

A single and walk with two outs in the seventh had Minor in another jam, but Dusty Baker left Leake in the game to hit, and the pitcher popped out softly to Justin Upton in left field to end the threat. Back-to-back singles by Jordan Schafer and Andrelton Simmons to start the eighth inning chased Leake and brought in Sean Marshall. Freddie Freeman singled to right to scored Schafer and make it 3-1.

Three batters later with the pitcher he was traded for, J.J. Hoover, on the mound, Juan Francisco turned on an inside fastball and drove it out to right field for his first career grand slam and fifth home run of the season to make it 7-1.

Jay Bruce homered off Anthony Varvaro in the ninth to cut Atlanta's lead to 7-2, but that's as close as the Reds would get.

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