As of Monday, May 6, 2013
© Copyright 2013
Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons points to the sky as he crosses home plate after hitting the first of his two home runs Monday to beat the Reds, 7-4.
CINCINNATI --- Andrelton Simmons homered twice among his three hits and drove in four runs as visiting Atlanta won the series opener against the Cincinnati Reds on Monday, 7-4.
Simmons posted the first multi-homer game of his career, belting a long solo homer down the left-field line in the second off Cincinnati starter Bronson Arroyo (2-4) and connecting on a two-run shot to left in the eighth. Atlanta starter Paul Maholm (4-3) picked up the victory, allowing two runs on four hits in 5 2/3 innings.
Brandon Phillips and Zack Cozart each finished with two hits for Cincinnati, which dropped to 12-5 at home and fell three games behind idle St. Louis in the National League Central. Arroyo allowed four runs on eight hits with seven strikeouts in five innings.
Jordan Schafer followed Simmons’ second homer with a pinch-hit solo homer to right for the Braves, who extended their lead in the NL East over idle Washington to 2½ games. Justin Upton, Freddie Freeman and Dan Uggla added two hits apiece and Craig Kimbrel pitched the ninth for his 10th save.
Cincinnati scored twice in the fourth to pull within 3-2 on Phillips’ double and Jay Bruce’s groundout. The Reds added two runs in the eighth on Joey Votto’s double to left and Todd Frazier’s groundout to make it 7-4, but Votto struck out with two on and two outs to end the game.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Atlanta C Brian McCann made his season debut following off-season shoulder surgery and went 0-for-4. … The Reds fell short in their first attempt to give manager Dusty Baker his 1,600th career victory. … Atlanta CF B.J. Upton struck out four times, dropping his average to .148.