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Late rally falls short in 5-3 loss

Braves struggle for most of the day, come up short late.

Jamie Sabau

The Braves offense made a late attempt at a rally but it wasn't enough to overcome all the mistakes and missed chances that came before as the Braves lost to the Reds 5-3 on Sunday afternoon.

The game started off much like Saturday's game with a steady progression of outs for both teams. The Reds finally broke through in the bottom of the 4th inning with help from an Aaron Harang mental lapse. Todd Frazier and Brandon Phillips singled to start the inning and Devin Mesoraco lined out. With two on and one out the pivotal moment in the game came when Jay Bruce grounded the ball to Freddie Freeman. Freeman made a nice play to field the ball but Harang failed to cover first base and as a result the Braves failed to record an out. With one out instead of two the Reds pushed across their first run of the game on a sacrifice fly to right field. The inning should have ended with no runs scoring but instead Brayan Pena and Zach Cozart would both single in runs as the Reds took a 3-0 lead.

Harang pitched well other than the 4th inning and eventually departed in the 6th inning with the bases loaded and one out. David Carpenter came on to try and hold the line at 3-0 and Carpenter did induce a groundball to Chris Johnson. Johnson threw to second base for the second out in the inning but Cozart beat out the throw to first base to allow another run to score for the Reds and make it 4-0.

The Braves pulled a run back in the top of the 7th inning. Evan Gattis doubled with one out and Tommy La Stella immediately followed Gattis with a double of his own to score the Braves first run. As should be expected with the Braves shallow lineup and weak bench the threat ended there. BJ Upton flew out to center and pinch hitter Ryan Doumit grounded out to end the threat.

David Hale came on in the bottom of the 7th and gave the Braves run right back to the Reds by allowing a Todd Frazier homer to make the game 5-1. From there the Braves would make a great effort at tying the game but ultimately fell short.

Jason Heyward walked and Phil Gosselin singled to lead off the 8th inning. Freddie Freeman reached base on a fielders choice and the Braves had runners on the corners with one out. However, both Justin Upton and Chris Johnson struck out to end another promising threat for Atlanta.

The Braves made one more go of it in the top of the 9th inning. With Aroldis Chapman unavailable the Braves gave the Reds shaky pen all they could handle. Gattis crushed a solo homer to start the inning and make the game 5-2. Tommy La Stella and BJ Upton both made outs and with two outs and nobody one the game seemed over. Emilio Bonifacio started a rally with a single off the leg of Reds pitcher Logan Ondrusek. Heyward singled and Gosselin walked to load the bases. Freeman forced in another run for Atlanta by walking with the bases loaded and the game was 5-3 with Justin Upton up and the bases loaded. Upton though was unable to tie the game grounding out to end the inning. With their third loss in five games the Braves strong run of form is looking shaky. The team has Monday off before traveling to New York to take on the Mets.

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