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Wisler, Braves can't hang with slugging Reds, lose 8-2

Matt Wisler allowed three homers in a decisive fourth inning and the Atlanta offense didn't have the firepower to even the contest as the Braves dropped the series opener.

Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Perhaps Matt Wisler wishes he were pitching in the friendly confines of Atlanta, rather than on the road. Wisler allowed multiple homers for the third consecutive road start, this time three in the same inning, as the Braves fell 8-2 to the Reds on Monday night.

Wisler started the game out well, going nine up, nine down, thanks in part to Anthony Recker throwing out Jay Bruce as part of a strike 'em out, throw 'em out double play in the second. Adonis Garcia singled to lead off the fourth and scored on a two-out double by Jeff Francoeur to give the Braves a short-lived lead, but then the wheels fell off.

Zack Cozart tied the game on the third pitch Wisler threw with a lead on a slider that didn't do much of anything other than proceed right into his happy zone. The next batter, Billy Hamilton, hit a single, advanced to second on a balk, and then stole third base, although all of this was somewhat for naught because Joey Votto then homered on a 2-2 pitch to give the Reds a 3-1 lead. After mercifully getting two outs, Wisler then surrendered a single to Brandon Phillips and yet another homer, this time to Eugenio Suarez on a slider up and out over the plate.

Wisler's final line was not very good: eight hits, six runs (five earned), two walks, three strikeouts, and the three homers allowed. On the one hand, a fly ball pitcher making a start in Great American Ball Park is kind of scary in general; on the other hand, this probably wasn't the result Wisler was looking for, especially given General Manager John Coppollela's recent statements about him during Social Media Night.

The two teams traded runs in the sixth: Adonis Garcia hit a homer for the Braves, and Tucker Barnhart responded with an RBI single off of Joel de la Cruz, who was pitching in relief of Wisler and allowed his leadoff walk to score. The Braves actually had a really good chance to get back into the game after Garcia's homer, as they put runners on the corners with none out thanks to a Freddie Freeman ground-rule double and a Nick Markakis single. Unfortunately, Reds manager Bryan Price lifted Brandon Finnegan to insert his best reliever, Blake Wood, who retired the Braves without allowing any more runs to score.

The Atlanta bats could manage nothing against Raisel Iglesias (the other good Cincy reliever) in the seventh and eighth, nor against Ross Ganondorf Ohlendorf in the ninth. For their part, the Reds tacked on two additional runs against Eric O'Flaherty, who finally returned to Atlanta after a lengthy DL stint.

Tyrell Jenkins gets the ball tomorrow to try to even the series. He'll be opposed by something called a Cody Reed.

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